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Minnesota adult smoking ranking drops

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report recently released shows Minnesota as ranking 11th best among all states for adult smoking. The last time the CDC compared states in 2009, Minnesota was in the top 10 with a rank of 7th.

"The cost of tobacco in terms of lives and about $2.87 billion in annual medical costs is too high," said the commissioner of health, Dr. Edward Ehlinger.

In order to decrease cigarette use, Governor Mark Dayton has proposed a 94 cents-a-pack tax increase. Some projected health benefits of 94 cents tax increase include an 11 percent decrease in youth smoking. It is also estimated that 25,800 kids would be kept from smoking, 19,300 adult smokers would quit and 13, 700 would be saved from premature death.

The CDC report further states:

• 19 percent of Minnesota adults smoke.

• In 2008-09, 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.

• 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.

Twenty percent of adults and 18.1 percent of high school students still smoke, and smoking declines have slowed in recent years.

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Minnesota. Nationally, each year approximately 443,000 people die from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million suffer from a serious smoking-related illness.

To get help quitting smoking, call 1-800-354-7526 or visit

To access the data, visit CDC's State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System at

For information on quitting and preventing children from using tobacco, visit