SANTA FE – Tomorrow is World No Tobacco Day which provides an opportunity for smokers in New Mexico to make the decision to quit. The Department of Health’s Nicotine Use Prevention and Control (NUPAC) program offers free resources for nicotine users who want to quit.
While the percentage of adult smokers in the state has dropped from 16.1% in 2020 to 13.4% in 2021, the percentage of adults using e-cigarettes has increased from 4.9% in 2017 to 7.3% in 2021.
Vaping and e-cigarettes are also an issue for New Mexico’s youth. One in three New Mexico high school students are currently vaping. Among students who currently use commercial tobacco products about 80% used e-cigarettes either alone or in combination with other commercial tobacco products.
All forms of commercial tobacco are harmful and there is no safe level of exposure. Commercial tobacco kills more than eight million people per year.
“When people become aware of the dangers of commercial tobacco, most want to quit. However, nicotine contained in commercial tobacco products is highly addictive and very few people quit successfully without support,” said LeAnn Allison, Director of NUPAC. “The NUPAC program provides the free tools and resources tobacco users need to quit.”
New Mexicans can call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) for English or 1-855-DEJELO YA (1-855-335-3569) for Spanish, to receive free coaching, nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges for registered participants. There are also free web-based services at QuitNowNM.com and DejeloYaNM.com that offer additional online support including 24-hour text message support.
For teens Live Vape Free is a national text-based program with one-on-one coaching, live text support, and interactive content to help them quit e-cigarettes. Live Vape Free is designed to help teens find their “why” when quitting by:
- Educating teens on the keys to quitting nicotine.
- Boosting overall confidence among teens looking to quit.
- Motivating and inspiring users to learn more about the implications to their long-term health by getting and staying nicotine-free.
To register, teens can text VAPFREE to 873373.
Parents and other caregivers can set a good example by being nicotine-free and talking to kids about the dangers of commercial tobacco products including e-cigarettes.