As an American Cancer Society volunteer, I am excited to hear that there has been a bill introduced to increase the tobacco price, paving the way for more public health policy successes in our state. Above all, this $1.29 price increase will help more than 26,000 Minnesota adults quit smoking and prevent 35,400 Minnesota youth from starting a lifetime of tobacco addiction.
Minnesota has made great strides in the past decade to reduce tobacco’s harms through education, cessation services and strong public policy efforts such as the statewide smoke-free law and youth access laws.
Lately, our progress has slowed. Minnesota’s smoking rate – particularly among young adults – is leveling off, and new smokeless tobacco products are increasing in popularity among youth and current adult smokers. Tobacco in any form is hazardous to our health, and we must continue our vigilant efforts to curb tobacco use.
Smoking continues to be a leading cause of preventable death and disease. In fact, 5,100 Minnesotans die each year from tobacco related illnesses. This new legislation will benefit all Minnesotans. We firmly stand behind Sen. Nelson and Rep. Benson’s leadership efforts to improve Minnesotans’ health and keep tobacco beyond the reach of our children.
United Way of Washington County – East