Minnesotans agree: We can do more to prevent kids from becoming addicted to tobacco products. As part of Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation, we support increasing public funding for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts as a proven way to reduce tobacco use.
Tobacco use is Minnesota’s leading cause of preventable death and disease, costing $7 billion annually . . . and Minnesota’s progress is slowing. Smoking declines among Minnesota adults have stalled out at 14 percent, and youth tobacco use has increased for the first time in 17 years.
Funding tobacco prevention and cessation saves lives. Over the past 20 years, tobacco prevention policies and programs have reduced smoking and saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars. But ClearWay Minnesota is a life-limited organization that will end by 2022; our free statewide quitting program, QUITPLAN Services, will end in early 2020.
Action is needed this year to ensure Minnesota tobacco users do not lose quitting support. The state of Minnesota collected over $750 million from ongoing tobacco settlement payments and taxes last year, but spent less than 1 percent of that on prevention and cessation. Learn more about this issue here.