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Commission Amends County Tobacco Ordinance

10/28/2020

Bernalillo County commissioners, following a public hearing, amended the county tobacco ordinance, to require all purchasers of tobacco products, in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County, to be 21 years of age. The unincorporated area is outside the City of Albuquerque limits.

Tobacco products are defined as derived from tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether smoked, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed or ingested by any other means, including cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, snuff, electronic cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems.

Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada sponsored the amendments. “These changes are important to protect the younger members of our community,” says Commissioner Quezada. “Cancer is the second leading cause of death in our country and smoking and tobacco-related uses are a huge contributor to that.”

The amended ordinance also states that it’s illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 and that stores and establishments are responsible for ensuring that purchasers are 21 years old. Anyone caught violating the ordinance is subject to a fine not to exceed $100. Stores must also post signs stating the new age requirement for tobacco purchases.

The commission approved the changes to the county tobacco ordinance on a 4 to 0 vote. Chair Lonnie Talbert was excused from the meeting.

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