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

Adult Smoking Prevalence by County, New Mexico, 2017-2019

Indicator Report Data View Options

Why Is This Important?

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking is initiated and established primarily during adolescence, with more than 80% of adult smokers first smoking before age 18. One in six adults and one in eleven youth smoke in New Mexico. About half of all lifetime smokers will die early because of their tobacco use. In New Mexico, about 2,800 people die from tobacco use annually and another 84,000 are living with tobacco-related diseases. Annual smoking-related medical costs in New Mexico total $844 million. According to the CDC's SAMMEC (Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs) website, smoking is responsible for a significant proportion of the deaths from numerous types of malignant neoplasms (e.g., lung, esophageal, and laryngeal cancers); from cardiovascular diseases (e.g., ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease); and from several respiratory diseases (e.g., bronchitis, emphysema, chronic airway obstruction). Combined, these smoking-related deaths make smoking the leading behavioral cause of death in the United States.

Adult Smoking Prevalence by County, New Mexico, 2017-2019


A current smoker is defined as a person 18 years or older who has smoked more than 100 cigarettes in his or her lifetime and currently smokes every day or some days.

Data Notes

The county-level BRFSS data used for this smoking indicator were weighted to be representative of the New Mexico Health Region populations. Had the data been weighted to be representative of each county population, the results would likely have been different.

Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.
  • U.S. data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Prevalence and Trends Data.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of survey respondents who were current cigarette smokers
Denominator:Total number of BRFSS survey respondents

Data Issues

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an ongoing survey of adults about health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones. Because of these changes, the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and later. Please see the [[a href="/nmibis-view/docs/Query/BRFSS/BRFSS_fact_sheet_Aug2012.pdf BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]]. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are not included when calculating a percentage.

Health Topic Pages Related to: Tobacco Use - Adult Smoking Prevalence

Community Health Resources and Links

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 03/30/2021, Published on 11/02/2023
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.