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Health Highlight Report for Harding County

Tobacco Use - Adult Smoking Prevalence: Percentage Current Smokers, 2015-2017

  • Harding County
    95% Confidence Interval DNA
    Statistical StabilityDNA
    New Mexico
    DNA=Data not available.
    **=Insufficient data.
  • Harding County Compared to State

    gauge ranking
    Description of Dashboard Gauge

    Description of the Dashboard Gauge

    This "dashboard" type graphic is based on the community data on the right. It compares the community value on this indicator to the state overall value.
    • Excellent = The community's value on this indicator is BETTER than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.
    • Watch = The community's value is BETTER than state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
    • Improvement Needed = The community's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
    • Reason for Concern = The community's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.

    The community value is considered statistically significantly different from the state value if the state value is outside the range of the community's 95% confidence interval. If the community's data or 95% confidence interval information is not available, a blank gauge image will be displayed with the message, "missing information."
    NOTE: The labels used on the gauge graphic are meant to describe the community's status in plain language. The placement of the gauge needle is based solely on the statistical difference between the community and state values. When selecting priority health issues to work on, a community should take into account additional factors such as how much improvement could be made, the U.S. value, the statistical stability of the community number, the severity of the health condition, and whether the difference is clinically significant.

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 nine 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.

How Are We Doing?

Although overall cigarette smoking continues to decline, smoking rates continue to be higher among certain population groups including people with lower levels of education or income, the uninsured, people with a disability, African Americans, and people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. In addition, the landscape of tobacco use and nicotine addiction is changing in light of emerging products such as e-cigarettes, hookah, and a variety of flavored tobacco products. About 5% of NM adults and 24% of NM high school youth use e-cigarettes and many of these individuals are using them in combination with traditional cigarettes.

What Is Being Done?

The NM Tobacco Program has a five-year action plan for 2015-2020 to do the following work together with its contractors and other statewide partners. GOAL 1: Prevent Initiation of Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults Strategy 1a: Educate and inform stakeholders and decision-makers about evidence-based policies and programs to prevent initiation of tobacco use. Strategy 1b: Establish and strengthen tobacco-free policies in schools and on college or university campuses. GOAL 2: Eliminate Nonsmokers' Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Strategy 2a: Increase voluntary policies for smokefree multi-unit housing. Strategy 2b: Implement evidence-based mass-reach health communication interventions to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. GOAL 3: Promote Quitting Tobacco Among Youth and Young Adults Strategy 3a: Support state quitline capacity Strategy 3b: Increase engagement of health care providers and systems to expand utilization of proven cessation methods Strategy 3c: Expand insurance coverage and availability of comprehensive cessation services Strategy 3d: Promote health systems changes to support tobacco cessation Strategy 3e: Implement evidence-based mass-reach health communication interventions to increase cessation and promote the quitline. GOAL 4: Identify and Eliminate Tobacco-Related Disparities (see Health Program Information section)

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 (

Healthy People Objective TU-1.1:

Reduce tobacco use by adults: Cigarette smoking
U.S. Target: 12.0 percent


**Percentages based on fewer than 50 completed surveys are not shown because they do not meet the DOH standard for data release. The following counties did not meet the DOH small numbers rule in the combined 2015-2017 dataset: DeBaca, Guadalupe, Harding, and Hidalgo. 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. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BRFSS Prevalence and Trends Data, [].  

Measure Description for Tobacco Use - Adult Smoking Prevalence

Definition: 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.
Numerator: Number of survey respondents who reported they were current cigarette smokers
Denominator: Total number of BRFSS survey respondents

Indicator Profile Report

Adult Smoking Prevalence (exits this report)

Date Content Last Updated

The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Mon, 20 September 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 21 Jun 2019 11:52:53 MDT