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N.M. youth tobacco use rates hit historic lows

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The rate of cigarette smoking by New Mexico high school students has dropped by more than 50 percent over the last decade to the lowest level ever recorded.

The New Mexico Department of Health on Thursday cited data from last year’s youth risk and resiliency survey, which showed youth cigarette smoking dropped from 24.2 percent in 2007 to 10.6 percent in 2017.

The department says usage rates for other tobacco products also fell to historic lows.

Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher says one of her agency’s priorities is educating youth about the risks of tobacco.

The department has numerous campaigns aimed at preventing youth and young adults from starting to use tobacco products. That includes boosting awareness about illegal sales to minors and helping colleges and universities implement tobacco-free campus policies.

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