New data released by the New Mexico Department of Health show the state’s rate of high schoolers smoking cigarettes is at an all-time low. And they’re using other tobacco products less often, too.
The state has had historically high rates of teen smoking. Ten years ago, a quarter of New Mexico high schoolers were using cigarettes. Now it’s down to 10 percent.
Sandra Adondakis leads the Chronic Disease Prevention Council of New Mexico. She credits part of the positive change to banning smoking in places like restaurants over the years.
"There's a really good correlation between having smoke-free public places and reducing youth smoking," she said.
The rates of local high schoolers using other tobacco products like e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco and hookah pipes have all gone down, too.
If you’re a smoker and want help quitting, you can call 1-800-QUITNOW or go to QuitNowNM.com.
KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the Con Alma Health Foundation.