PREVENTION AGENCY TO DISTRIBUTE NEW TOBACCO LAW INFO

PREVENTION AGENCY TO DISTRIBUTE NEW TOBACCO LAW INFO

The South Central New Mexico Prevention Coalition is distributing free information to retailers about a new state law on tobacco sales this week.

SCNMPC preventionists are delivering Merchant Education Packets until Jan. 2. Each packet includes a copy of House Bill 136, passed by the 46th Legislature, which limits tobacco vending-machine sales and prohibits self-service tobacco displays. The new law takes effect Jan. 1.

Under the new law, retailers in New Mexico are required to sell tobacco products in a direct, face-to-face exchange with the customer. The new law prohibits public access to tobacco products without the assistance of the seller or the seller’s employee.

“Many retailers only sell tobacco products with the assistance of a clerk,” SCNMPC preventionist Angie Perez said. “The new law makes this policy uniform across New Mexico.”

Vending machine sales of tobacco products are limited to controlled areas. Private locations, such as within factories, businesses and offices, may have vending machines. Age-controlled areas, in which minors are not permitted without the accompaniment of a parent or guardian, also are allowed to house vending machines.

“We appreciate the care and responsibility taken by the Legislature on behalf of New Mexico’s youth,” Perez said.

For more information on the new law or to receive an information packet, call the South Central New Mexico Prevention Coalition at (505) 528-7900. Anyone calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request the SCNMPC extension.