Smoking Regulations in New Mexico


Chapter 24, Article 16 NMSA 1978 is cited as the “Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act”.[i]

The law of New Mexico prohibits smoking in indoor workplace, indoor public place, buses, taxicabs or other means of public transport.[ii]  The law prohibits any part of the state capitol or capitol north of New Mexico from being designated as a smoking-permitted area.  Smoking is also prohibited near entrances, windows and ventilation systems of public places where smoking is prohibited.[iii]

Smoking is permitted in private residence, except during hours of business operation while it is being used commercially to provide child care, adult care or any health care activities, retail tobacco store, cigar bar, and in facilities of a tobacco manufacturing company, provided that smoke does not infiltrate other indoor workplaces or other indoor public places where smoking is otherwise prohibited.[iv]  Smoking is also permitted in a state-licensed gaming facility, casino or bingo parlor, indoor workplace to the extent that tobacco smoking is an integral part of a smoking cessation program that is approved by the department or of medical or scientific research and is conducted in the indoor workplace, in designated outdoor smoking areas, private clubs, in limousines under private hire and in up to 25 percent of hotel/motel rooms.  Smoking is also permitted in enclosed areas within restaurants, bars, hotel and motel conference or meeting rooms while these places are being used for private functions, provided that none of these areas are open to the general public while the private functions are occurring and that smoke does not infiltrate other indoor workplaces or indoor public places where smoking is otherwise prohibited.  Smoking is also permitted in sites that are used in connection with the practice of cultural or ceremonial activities by Native Americans, business of a sole proprietor or a business with fewer than two employees that is not commonly accessible to the public, and theatrical stage or a motion picture or television production set when it is necessary for performers to smoke as part of the production.

For each indoor workplace or indoor public place where smoking is prohibited or permitted, there shall be posted appropriate signs at public entrance.  The signs shall be posted clearly, conspicuously should be easily legible. The local fire, police or sheriff’s department with appropriate jurisdiction over the location where a violation occurs shall enforce that act by issuance of a citation, and may inspect an establishment for compliance. A person may register a complaint regarding an alleged violation to initiate enforcement with the state Department of Health or the local fire, police or sheriff’s department. Violation by a person 18 years of age and older, is subject to a fine not to exceed $100 for the first violation, a fine not to exceed $200 for a second violation in a 12-month period, and a fine not to exceed $500 for a third or subsequent violation within a 12-month period of the previous violation. The owner, manager or operator of a premise subject to regulation shall not be subject to a penalty if a person on the premises is in violation as long as the owner, manager or operator has posted signs, implemented the appropriate policy and informed the person that he/she is in violation.

[i] N.M. Stat. Ann. § 24-16-1

[ii] N.M. Stat. Ann. § 24-16-4

[iii] N.M. Stat. Ann. § 24-16-13

[iv] N.M. Stat. Ann. § 24-16-12