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

Health Indicator Report of Tobacco Use - Youth E-Cigarette Prevalence

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 2017, e-cigarette use (24.7%) among high school youth in NM has significantly outpaced the use of combustible cigarettes (10.6%). 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.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, New Mexico Department of Health and Public Education Department.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data


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.


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.


All youth who participated in the YRRS.

How Are We Doing?

In 2017, 24.7% of NM high school youth used e-cigarettes, ranking NM third among 39 states who complete a similar youth survey.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2017, 24.7% of NM high school youth used e-cigarettes, compared to 20.8% in the US (2018).

What Is Being Done?

Currently, e-cigarette use is 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. In June 2015, a new state law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes and nicotine liquid to New Mexicans under age 18 went into effect, which helps curb youth access to these products.

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

Current services include a free telephone helpline (1-800-QUIT NOW), with a personalized quitting plan, a trained quitting coach, multiple calls per enrollee, and quit coaching translation available in 200 languages. Web-based cessation services are also available ( stand-alone or in combination with the telephone helpline. The telephone helpline is also available in Spanish (1-855 DEJELO YA), and the Spanish web-based services are available at Additional services include free nicotine patches or gum and text-messaging support.
Page Content Updated On 11/30/2018, Published on 12/06/2018
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 Wed, 01 December 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 10:39:41 MST