New Mexico Department Of Health Praises New Smoking Ban

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New Mexicans Concerned About Tobacco Coalition to celebrate the beginning of the new law banning smoke in indoor work places and public places.

"Preventing smoking in public places is a proven public health intervention that saves lives," said Dr. Vigil. "This progressive legislation, initiated by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, will help protect thousands of New Mexicans from the dangers of second-hand smoke."

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To help New Mexicans quit in light of the new smoking ban, the Department of Health is providing free nicotine replacement therapy to people who call the Department's 1-800-QUIT-NOW bilingual helpline. Individuals who register for cessation services will receive up to two months supply of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges, while supplies last.

"During my administration, we have seen a reduction in cigarette sales and the number of teenagers who smoke in New Mexico," said Gov. Bill Richardson. "We are now taking the next step to make New Mexico a healthier place to live and work."

The Department has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking help quitting tobacco after Gov. Richardson signed the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act into law. Nearly 1,000 people called the helpline in April and May, and 85 percent enrolled in the intensive Quit for Life program and received nicotine replacement therapy delivered to their homes.

"Starting today, New Mexico workers will no longer have to choose between a good job and good health," said Nathan Bush, Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society and Chair of New Mexicans Concerned About Tobacco. "There is simply no other law that will protect and promote the health of all New Mexicans more than the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act."

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