ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Following a public hearing, Bernalillo County commissioners have amended the county tobacco ordinance to require everyone who purchases tobacco products in the unincorporated areas of the county outside of City of Albuquerque limits to be 21-years-old.
“These changes are important to protect the younger members of our community,” said Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada in a statement. “Cancer is the second leading cause of death in our country and smoking and tobacco-related uses are a huge contributor to that.”
The amended ordinance also states that it’s illegal to sell or give tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 and that stores and establishments are responsible for ensuring that purchasers are 21-years-old. Bernalillo County reports that anyone caught in violation of the ordinance is subject to a fine not to exceed $100.
Stores must also post signs stating the new age requirement for tobacco products. The changes to the ordinance were approved by the commission on a 4-to-0 vote.