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Report: Minnesota’s Adult Smoking Rate Increases

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota has dropped out of the top 10 of states with the lowest amounts of adult smokers, according to a health report released Friday.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that Minnesota now ranks 11th best among all states for adult smoking. In 2009, Minnesota ranked 7th.

“This report shows that far too many Minnesotans are still using tobacco products, 11th isn’t good enough for Minnesota,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward Ehlinger. “The cost of tobacco in terms of lives and about $2.87 billion in annual medical costs is too high. We must reduce this toll on our families and our state and one of the most effective ways to curb youth smoking is to raise the price.”

In an effort to decrease cigarette use, Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed a 94 cents-a-pack tax increase, which would bring Minnesota’s cigarette tax on par with Wisconsin.

The Minnesota Department of Health projects that the tax increase on cigarettes would result in an 11 percent decrease in youth smoking, 25,800 kids would be kept from smoking, 19,300 adult smokers would quit and 13,700 would be saved from premature death.

“The fact that Minnesota has dropped out of the top 10 on this list and that we got a failing grade from the American Lung Association this month highlights that we need to do more to prevent smoking tobacco use among youths and to help adults quit,” said Ehlinger, referring to the State of Tobacco Control 2013 Report released Jan. 16.

The CDC report also includes the following:

• 19 percent of Minnesota adults smoke.
• In 2008-2009, of all Minnesota youth ages 12-17 who had never smoked, 5.4 percent smoked a cigarette for the first time in the past year. This ranked 13th in the nation.
• In 2009-2010, 79.3 percent of adults in Minnesota thought that smoking should never be allowed in indoor workplaces.
• Smoking disproportionately is affecting American Indians and African-Americans, young adults 18-24, and those with less education.

For more information on the report, click here.

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