- Annually, smoking costs Minnesota over $3 billion in health care costs and $4 billion in lost worker productivity.
- The tobacco industry spends more than $100 million a year to market its products in Minnesota.
- Whether it’s family, friends, coworkers or neighbors – maybe even the person who means the most – tobacco use leads to over 6,000 deaths in Minnesota a year.
- In Minnesota, 574,000 moms, dads, sons, daughters, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles continue to smoke.
- Children of smokers are almost twice as likely to smoke as children of nonsmokers.
- Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
- Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general.
- Smoking accounts for an estimated 480,000 deaths each year in the U.S. – that’s nearly one of every five deaths.
Tobacco Industry is the Cause
- Video games are a $9.4 billion dollar business in the United States, with sales higher than the movie box office.
- Teens often chose video games over television, making games a way to reach a significant audience of potential smokers.
- In the Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, cigarettes are given as rewards and cigarette warning labels are mocked.
- Young adults are key market - they are experiencing transition, they experiment and they are influenced by their peers.
- Tobacco companies sponsor events and hire "Cigarette Fairies" to distribute free products in bars and socialize with young adults.
- Through charitable donations, the tobacco industry can claim it’s doing something positive for society – and can protect itself from regulations by arguing charities suffer when tobacco revenues drop.
- One year, Philip Morris spent $100 million on PR to promote its corporate giving – more than the $75 million it spent on the giving itself.
- Historically, free and discounted tobacco has hooked generations of soldiers.
- Smoking rates in the military are significantly higher than in the general population.
- Tobacco companies still send free cases of products to troops serving in the Middle East.
- Regulations preventing direct youth marketing forced a different tactic by tobacco companies.
- Sweet-flavored tobacco products are attractive “starter products” for youth because they “taste better.”
- The FDA banned flavored cigarettes, but “little cigars” and smokeless tobacco are still available in candy and fruit flavors such as peach, grape and chocolate.
- Smokeless tobacco is hard to detect, making it easy to use in places people cannot light up a cigarette.
- Camel Snus comes in tea-bag-like pouches and requires no spitting.
- Other new products resemble candies, mints and breath strips.