Tobacco use is still a problem in Minnesota. More than 5,100 Minnesotans die from tobacco-related illness each year. It’s a leading cause of premature death and avoidable illness. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer at least one serious illness from smoking.
Health care providers – including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, care coordinators, behavioral health care providers and the many other professionals who care for patients – play a key role in helping people quit tobacco. Studies show that advice from a clinician about smoking cessation led to a 66 percent increase in successful quit rates. However, Minnesota physicians are missing opportunities to help patients quit using tobacco. Only 70 percent of respondents in a 2010 survey of Minnesota smokers said their provider talked to them about smoking cessation. ClearWay MinnesotaSM and MN Community Measurement are working with health care providers to close that gap and help more patients quit tobacco.