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Smoking Rate Falls Dramatically Among Minnesotans
Date:9/9/2008

New report finds 164,000 fewer smokers

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Findings from the latest Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey (MATS), released today, show that Minnesota is making significant progress in reducing tobacco use. The survey -- conducted by ClearWay Minnesota(SM), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health -- found that Minnesota's adult smoking rate has declined to a new low of 17 percent. That figure is down approximately 5 percentage points since 1999 and represents 164,000 fewer smokers. Minnesota's declines are impressive compared to national trends, where smoking rates appear to have stalled at about 20 percent since 2004.

"This dramatic decline in the smoking rate means that fewer Minnesota families will suffer the health and economic devastation of tobacco-related diseases," said Dr. Barbara Schillo, Director of Research Programs for ClearWay Minnesota. "Minnesotans should be proud that our state's comprehensive program to reduce tobacco use, incorporating smoke-free policies, tobacco price increases, education and state-of-the-art cessation services for all Minnesotans, is working and producing remarkable results."

Released every four years, the Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey is the most thorough and accurate source of information about smoking rates and tobacco-related behaviors, attitudes and beliefs in the adult Minnesota population, and serves as a tool for measuring the progress of Minnesota's tobacco prevention efforts. Previous MATS were conducted in 1999 and 2003.

Other Key Findings from MATS 2007 include:

-- Fewer young adults are smoking -- Smoking rates for young adults (18-24-year-olds) declined 8 percentage points, from 36.8 percent in 2003 to 28.4 percent in 2007, which means that there are 42,000 fewer young adult smokers than in 2003.

-- The majority of smokers want to quit and more are getting help -- More than half (56.7 p
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SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota
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