Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Tobacco Use - Youth E-Cigarette Prevalence

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

Youth E-Cigarette Prevalence by County, Grades 9-12, New Mexico, 2019

Why Is This Important?

The use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, has recently emerged as a new public health concern. Although scientists are still learning about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes, we do know most contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm adolescent and young adult brain development. The aerosol in e-cigarettes contains nicotine, cancer-causing chemicals, and tiny particles that can reach deep into the lungs. According to the National Academies of Science (2018), there is substantial evidence that e-cigarette use increases risk of ever using combustible tobacco cigarettes among youth and young adults. As of 2019, e-cigarette use (34%) among high school youth in NM has significantly outpaced the use of combustible cigarettes (8.9%). Although there have been significant declines in combustible cigarette use among youth, the emergence of e-cigarettes and the risks for nicotine addiction requires attention both through public health prevention and policy efforts.


A current e-cigarette user is defined as a youth in grades 9-12 in a NM public high school who used e-cigarettes or other electronic vapor products on one or more days in the past month.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Any youth who reported in the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) that they used an e-cigarette or other electronic vapor products on one or more days in the past month.
Denominator:All youth who participated in the YRRS.

How Are We Doing?

Of the five tobacco products measured in the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS), youth are significantly more likely to use e-cigarettes (34%) than all other products: conventional cigarettes (8.9%), cigars (8.3%), hookah (8.2%), or spit/chew tobacco (5.9%). E-cigarette use has increased by 42% in NM since the question was first added to the YRRS in 2015.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2019, 34% of NM high school youth used e-cigarettes, compared to 32.7% in the US. The only states whose youth use e-cigarettes at a higher rate than NM are West Virginia (35.7%) and North Carolina (35.5%).

What Is Being Done?

E-cigarette use continues to be a problem primarily concentrated among youth and young adults. The NM Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program is integrating e-cigarettes into its tobacco prevention and education efforts. Many of the proven interventions for preventing and reducing tobacco use can be applied to e-cigarettes (see evidence-based practices below). For example, public school (K-12) and college campus tobacco policies are being updated to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes Significant progress has been made in state and federal policies to address the vaping epidemic. In 2015, a new state law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes and nicotine liquid to New Mexicans under age 18 went into effect to help curb youth access to these products. In 2019, the age of purchase for e-cigarettes and other tobacco products was increased to 21 years. In 2020, new taxes were imposed on e-cigarettes and nicotine liquids in New Mexico for the first time. In January 2021, a new law took effect in NM requiring that all tobacco retailers in the state have a license to sell tobacco, which will help ensure retailer compliance with all state and federal tobacco laws.

Evidence-based Practices

Addressing tobacco use is best done through a coordinated effort to establish tobacco-free policies and social norms, to promote and assist tobacco users to quit, and to prevent initiation of tobacco use. This comprehensive approach combines educational, clinical, regulatory, economic, and social strategies. Research has documented strong or sufficient evidence in the use of the following strategies: - Increasing the unit price of tobacco products - Restricting minors' access to tobacco products; restricting the time, place, and manner in which tobacco is marketed and sold - Strategic, culturally appropriate, and high impact health communication messages (mass media), including paid TV, radio, billboard, print, and web-based advertising at state and local levels - Ensuring that all patients seen in the health care system are screened for tobacco use, receive brief interventions to help them quit, and are offered more intensive counseling and low- or no-cost cessation medications; providing insurance coverage of tobacco use treatment; phone- and web-based cessation services are effective and can reach large numbers of tobacco users; - Passage of laws and policies in a comprehensive tobacco control effort to protect the public from secondhand exposure - Focusing tobacco prevention and cessation interventions on populations at greatest risk in an effort to reduce tobacco-related health disparities Sources: CDC. Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs - 2014 ( The Guide to Community Preventive Services: Tobacco Use - 2010 (

Available Services

For the latest list of vaping/e-cigarette educational materials, resources, and data, please visit the NM Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) Program's Vaping and E-Cigarettes Webpage at:

More Resources

Visit for full information about the NM Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program. Source: The National Academies of Sciences, Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes, 2018, available at

Indicator Data Last Updated On 03/30/2021, Published on 05/04/2021
Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program, Population and Community Health Bureau, Public Health Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 5301 Central Ave NE, Suite 800, Albuquerque, NM 87108.