Tobacco use in Minnesota

Despite progress, tobacco use is still a problem in Minnesota. Smoking continues to be a leading cause of preventable death and disease, killing more than 5,100 Minnesotans each year. Sixteen percent of Minnesota adults, or 625,000 people, smoke. Nearly 22 percent of 18-24-year-olds in Minnesota smoke. That is the highest smoking rate of any age group.

Smoking is estimated to cost Minnesota at least $2.87 billion in direct health care costs each year. That’s $554 for every man, woman and child in the state.

Room to improve

The 2010 Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey (MATS) asked smokers how their smoking was addressed during their last doctor’s visit. Among smokers who saw any provider in the past 12 months:

  • 94 percent were asked about smoking
  • Just over 70 percent were advised not to smoke
  • Fewer than half (43.9 percent) were referred for help to quit smoking

These results highlight opportunities for providers and delivery systems to more consistently deliver best-practice tobacco treatments. If treating tobacco dependence were a routine part of delivering health care, all smokers would be asked about their smoking, advised to quit and connected to quitting resources. Learn more at

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