Smoking Continues to Decline in Minnesota
About 5,000 Minnesotans die every year from tobacco use and costs about $3 billion dollars in excess health care year or about $554 dollars per Minnesotan. Despite the almost 10% drop in smoking in Minnesota, Clearway Minnesota researchers say smoking is still a problem.
In 2013 the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton voted to place a $1.60 tax on a pack of cigarettes as a way of deterring Minnesotans from smoking. Minnesota was always the first state in 1975 to limit smoking indoors. And Sheldon says those policies have helped decrease the amount of smokers in Minnesota.
If a smoker would like help quitting but doesn’t think they can afford it there are programs like Quit Plan Services that can help give support and the ability to access things like the patch to help them quit.
A 2014 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota survey found Minnesotans approve the restrictions on smoking indoor with 87% of Minnesotans approve of the Freedom to Breathe Act.