ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A Santa Fe Public Schools board member wants the state to raise the legal age to buy tobacco.
Steven Carrillo is sponsoring a resolution that requests the New Mexico School Boards Association and 88 other public school districts urge state legislators to raise the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.
“Vaping has become and very quickly a major health problem and a major health concern and not only regarding kids in Northern New Mexico and Santa Fe but nationwide,” Carrillo said.
According to the resolution, nearly 25% of high school students in Santa Fe used e-cigarettes at least once in the past 30 days.
Carrillo believes the students face the risk of getting hooked on nicotine for life.
“We see this now in middle schools,” Carrillo said. “Middle school kids being enticed to start vaping, so this is a major health problem.”
Carrillo believes raising the age to buy tobacco products – including e-cigarettes – will help keep students from vaping.
“Have the laws be as severe for underage drinking – for vaping,” he said.
If the resolution passes its first vote Tuesday night, it will face a final vote on June 18.