F

New Mexico Grade Card

Population Covered: 2,096,829

Tobacco 21 Since: August 30, 2020

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation evaluated all current statewide Tobacco 21 laws for their alignment with best practices that lead to effective prevention of youth initiation of tobacco and nicotine products.

ENFORCEMENT
GRADE: F

Designated Enforcement Agency

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Best Practice:

Health Department or Designated Agency

New Mexico Enforcement:

The alcoholic beverage control division of the regulation and licensing department, the Department of Public Safety, and local law enforcement. Department of Public Safety oversees enforcement

Age Verification

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Best Practice:

Before distributing any tobacco product, the tobacco retailer or the tobacco retailer’s agent or employee shall verify that the purchaser is at least 21 years of age. Each tobacco retailer or tobacco retailer’s agent or employee shall examine the purchaser’s government-issued photographic identification if the purchaser appears to be under 30 years of age.

New Mexico Enforcement:

ID check is required for all in-person purchases of tobacco products

Who is the Penalty Placed on?

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Best Practice:

The primary burden for sales to underage purchasers should fall on the retailer who is profiting from the sales of the product and not the purchaser or non-management employee.

New Mexico Enforcement:

No penalty structure specified

Number of Compliance Checks

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Best Practice:

Provide authority for the state, county, or municipality to inspect tobacco retailers for compliance with MLSA 21 and a mandated minimum number of annual compliance checks. Model recommends two per year for every tobacco retail establishment.

New Mexico Enforcement:

Compliance checks to be done at random. No specified minimum per year.

Compliance Checks Done With Underage Decoys Aged 18-20

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Best Practice:

The designated agency shall conduct compliance checks by engaging persons between the ages of 18 and 20 to enter the tobacco retail establishment to attempt to purchase tobacco products.

New Mexico Enforcement:

Decoy age is not specified

LICENSING
GRADE: B

Statewide Tobacco Retail License

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Best Practice:

A comprehensive tobacco retail license allows states and municipalities to regulate all tobacco retailers, fund enforcement programs, and create a penalty structure that suspends or revokes a license for retailers that continue to violate a MLSA 21 law.

New Mexico Licensing:

New Mexico has a statewide comprehensive Tobacco Retail License

Tobacco Retail License Program Funds Enforcement

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Best Practice

The fee for a tobacco retail sales license shall be set and used to cover the administrative cost for licensing administration, education and training, retail inspections, and unannounced compliance checks. The tobacco retail sales license fee should not exceed the cost of the regulatory program authorized beyond the statute/ordinance.

New Mexico Licensing:

New Mexico’s Tobacco Retail License fee partially funds enforcement

Tobacco Retail License Fee

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Best Practice:

An effective licensing system requires tobacco retailers to pay an annual license fee and allows it to be periodically adjusted. Fee must be adequate to cover License administration, education/training, and enforcement. An annual fee of lower than $300 is generally inadequate to fund a licensing program.

New Mexico Licensing:

New Mexico’s Tobacco Retail License fee is to not exceed $750 or a renewal fee is not to exceed $400 per location and renews annually

PENALTIES
GRADE: C

Penalty Type

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Best Practice:

Establish a civil penalty structure for violations rather than a criminal penalty structure.

New Mexico Penalties:

New Mexico law does not specify a penalty structure

Violation Accrual Period

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Best Practice:

36 months

New Mexico Penalties:

New Mexico has a 36-month violation accrual period

Monetary Penalty and Suspension Structure

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Best Practice:

1st violation = $500
2nd violation = $750 and (7) day suspension
3rd violation = $1,000 and (30) day suspension
4th violation = $1000 and (3) year suspension

New Mexico Penalties:

For each of the first 3 violations of any provision of the Tobacco Products Act, the division has 3 forms of recourse or any combination thereof.

  1. Suspend or revoke a license of a licensee
  2. Require the use of identification verification software for a designated period of time
  3. Impose an administrative penalty against a licensee in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000)

Upon a fourth violation at the same location within three years of the first such violation, the retailer’s license issued for that location shall be permanently revoked.

Does the Law Penalize Youth for Purchase, Use or Possession

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Best Practice:

An evidence-based, best practices tobacco MLSA 21 policy should focus penalties on the tobacco retailer who profits from the illegal sale rather than the youth who is likely addicted to the product. PUP laws may be unlikely to reduce youth smoking significantly.

New Mexico Penalties:

New Mexico does not have any laws to penalize youth for purchase, use, or possession (PUP) of tobacco products

PREEMPTION
GRADE: A

Does Preemption exist, was it added, or expanded

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Best Practice:

Local governments have a critical role in reducing the deadly toll of tobacco by regulating sales and restricting youth access to these products to prevent use and addiction.

Tobacco 21 legislation should not introduce new tobacco control preemption, nor expand existing tobacco control preemption, and instead should be used as an opportunity to assert local authority or repeal existing tobacco control preemption.

New Mexico Preemption:

New Mexico law preempts local authority to pass more stringent tobacco control laws

DEFINITIONS
GRADE: A

Definitions

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Best Practice:

A comprehensive definition will cover all current, known tobacco and nicotine products, which include not only cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco, but also products like pipes, rolling papers, electronic smoking devices, and other related devices. A strong definition will also be broad enough to capture future products.

New Mexico Definitions:

New Mexico’s Tobacco 21 law includes comprehensive definitions