Progress made, but smokefree gaps remain.
New Mexico takes a positive step forward by strengthening their smokefree statewide law. This legislative session, health professionals and smokefree advocates in New Mexico worked hard to gather support to include electronic cigarettes and marijuana/cannabis in their statewide clean indoor air law. In other good news, an exemption for small workplaces was stricken from the previous law passed in 2007.
As a result, the state of New Mexico is WRB (smokefree workplaces, restaurants, and bars) instead of RB (smokefree restaurants and bars) on all of ANR Foundation’s new lists and maps.
Unfortunately, during the final days of the legislative session, opponents added exemptions for state-licensed gaming and 10% of hotel/motel rooms to bill language. Therefore, gaps in smokefree protections remain that impact the health of people working in these venues.
Partial smoking restrictions in hotels do not protect non-smoking guests from exposure to secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke. Hotel workers are breathing secondhand smoke in those rooms. The trend in the hotel industry is for 100% smokefree guest rooms and public spaces. Science has long-confirmed that a percentage room exemption does not address the health hazards in any way. No one should breathe secondhand or thirdhand smoke at work. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.
Read more about secondhand smoke in public venues.