Taos County Creates and Recognizes Positive Change

City: Taos County    Hosted By: Clean Air Works in Taos County
New Mexicans Concerned About Tobacco partnered with Clean Air Works in Taos County to assist the Town of Taos in implementing its clean indoor air ordinance. First, NMCAT presented a training for Town department heads on the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act and commended the town for passing its own ordinance that mirrors the state law. Then Clean Air Works, the local tobacco prevention coalition, kicked in by helping the employee in charge of identifying outdoor smoking-permitted areas at town facilities. Julie Martinez, Community Liaison, explained in detail the requirements of the state law and town ordinance, so that he could pick areas that complied with the law's requirements. A town policy strengthens the state law by requiring smoking-permitted areas at town buildings to be at least 25 feet from windows and doors.

Clean Air Works in Taos County also created the Just Did It award for public places and businesses that have fully implemented the clean indoor air law, or have even gone further to protect patrons and staff from secondhand smoke exposure. The 2008 awards go to Taos Mountain Casino, the state's only 100% smoke free casino; Holy Cross Hospital that implemented a smoke free campus in 2007; Sabroso Restaurant and Bar in Arroyo Seco that made its outdoor patio smoke free and located the smoking-permitted area on the other side of the building from the patio; and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps that is fully implementing its smoke free policy by designating smoking-permitted areas even when Corps members are working in the wilderness.

This enthusiasm for creating smoke free public places is not surprising, considering the tremendous majority of Taos County residents and governing bodies that favor smoke free policies and laws. Visitors and residents alike are glad to go to bars and other venues in Taos County without concern that they will be breathing in secondhand smoke.