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New Tobacco Research Finds Minnesota's Latino Population Smoking Significantly Less than General Population
Date:12/4/2008

ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from the first quantitative study measuring tobacco use in Minnesota's Latino communities were released today by Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) and ClearWay Minnesota(SM). The report, titled "Tobacco Use in Minnesota: A Quantitative Survey of Members of Minnesota's Latino Communities" found adult Latinos overall are smoking at a rate lower than that of Minnesota's general adult population -- 13 percent as compared to 17 percent. The Latino smoking rate equates to more than 25,000 Latinos who still smoke. Additionally, the report found that only 4 percent of Latina women smoke, a considerably lower rate than the 16 percent of women who smoke in the general population.

Other highlights from the survey include:

-- Twenty-two percent of Latino men in Minnesota smoke, which is similar to the high rate of men who smoke in Minnesota's general population. It is important to note that the large difference in smoking rates between women and men in the Latino community is likely tied to cultural prohibitions on smoking by women.

-- Young adult Latinos ages 18 to 24 are more likely to smoke (18 percent) than older Latino adults (13 percent). Similarly, the research shows that Latinos ages 18 to 24 began experimenting with smoking at an earlier age (age 14) than older Latinos (age 16).

-- Of Latinos who smoke, 39 percent fail to identify themselves as smokers when asked, a major barrier to quitting. An additional barrier is only 41 percent of smokers feel comfortable asking for help to stop smoking, which helps increase the odds of quitting successfully.

"While overall Latino smoking rates are lower than the state's smoking rate, we are deeply concerned about the high rates of smoking in men and young adults who appear to have begun experimenting with smoking at
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
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