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Result 1: Improved health status for New Mexicans

P002: Percent of adults who smoke

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

  • Adult smoking refers to the percentage of New Mexico adults who currently smoke cigarettes every day or some days.
  • Factors contributing to the decline in smoking likely include ongoing promotion and use of QUIT NOW tobacco cessation services, expanded coverage and availability of cessation services under the Affordable Care Act, and continued societal shifts away from using cigarettes.
  • Cigarette smoking is a leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States (U.S.) and in New Mexico. People experiencing poverty (e.g., low-income, unemployed, Medicaid) smoke at significantly higher rates than other people and include most of the remaining adults who smoke.
  • The rate of smoking among adults in the state continues to decline, down from 17.5% (2015) to 16.6% (2016), an all-time low for this measure. The percentage of New Mexico adults who smoke has declined by 23.0% since 2011. This decrease shows that approximately 69,000 fewer New Mexico adults are smoking today as compared to 2011.
  • New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) will continue to implement comprehensive evidence-based tobacco prevention and control strategies, including promoting and offering free tobacco cessation services through QUIT NOW and DEJELO YA (Spanish), and recruiting and training health care providers statewide on brief tobacco interventions and referrals to QUIT NOW.


  • Optum Health (tobacco cessation services provider)
  • Media Matched (media contractor)
  • Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) Program Evaluation Team
  • TUPAC Statewide Contractors
  • Health Care Providers
  • Federally-Qualified Health Centers and Other Clinics

What Works

The U.S. Guide to Community Preventive Services recommends the following interventions to reduce adult smoking:

  • Increasing the unit price of tobacco products.
  • Mass media campaigns when combined with other interventions.
  • Multi-component cessation interventions that include telephone support.
  • Health care provider reminder systems for tobacco cessation.
  • Reducing client out-of-pocket costs for cessation therapies.
  • Smoke-free policies to reduce tobacco use.


  • Develop and implement a Health Systems Change Training and Outreach Program for Tobacco Use with NM Community Health Centers (CHCs) to increase CHCs’ and their providers’ ability to consistently identify tobacco users;
  • Advise tobacco users to quit and refer those ready to make a quit attempt to appropriate treatment resources, such as the free NMDOH Tobacco Cessation services and other available community resources.

FY17 Annual Progress Summary

  • Smoking among New Mexico adults continues to decline, reaching an all-time low of 16.6% in 2016. The decline in adult smoking in the past five years (from 21.5% in 2011) means that there are now about 69,000 fewer adult smokers in the state. Use of other tobacco products such as spit/chew tobacco, cigars, hookah, and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) all remain relatively low (under 5%) among New Mexico adults.
  • NMDOH served 8,655 people in FY17 through its QUIT NOW Cessation Services, representing a 4.0% increase in people served from the previous year. In addition, about one-third of QUIT NOW enrollees remain quit at their 7-month follow-up.
  • Successful and sustained promotion of QUIT NOW services both locally and nationally, as well as ongoing statewide outreach and training of health care providers ensures that there is awareness of service availability and use by tobacco users who are ready to quit.

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