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Minnesota's Anti-Tobacco Policies Reap Benefits: CDC

THURSDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Sustained tobacco-control efforts in Minnesota have led to a 27.1 percent decrease in adult smoking rates, from 22.1 percent in 1999 to 16.1 percent in 2010, says a new study.

During that same time, the adult smoking rate in the United States declined only 15 percent, from 23.3 to 19.9 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between 1999 and 2010, Minnesota implemented a number of anti-tobacco measures, including a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law, higher cigarette taxes, public education campaigns, and quit-line services for tobacco users without health insurance.

In that time, per capita cigarette sales in Minnesota decreased 40 percent; the daily average number of cigarettes smoked by current smokers decreased from 14.3 to 12.2; and the proportion of current smokers who smoked more than 25 cigarettes a day fell from 14.3 to 6.3 percent.

Also, more adults in the state said they restricted smoking in their homes (64.5 percent in 1999 vs. 87.2 percent in 2010), and fewer adults said they were being exposed to secondhand smoke (67.2 percent vs. 45.6 percent).

The findings are from a 2010 survey that included 7,057 telephone interviews. The study is published Feb. 10 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The authors said continued investment in state tobacco control efforts is essential for widespread social benefits.

More information

The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Feb. 10, 2011; Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Feb. 11, 2011

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