MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The American Cancer Society is calling on smokers to kick the habit Thursday.

The Great American Smokeout is happening for the 35th year.

Since it started in 1976, the smoking rate in the U.S. has fallen 40 percent.

The ACS said the numbers alone should persuade others to quit and put down the cigarettes.

In Minnesota, about 17 percent of people are smokers.

Each year our state, 5,100 people die from smoking-related illnesses.

The ACS said that smoking accounts for nearly $3 billion in excess health care costs.


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