Tobacco Prevention and Control

Tobacco Prevention and Control

Tobacco use continues to decline in Minnesota.

Both adults and youth in Minnesota are smoking less. In 2016, just 8.4 percent of 11 graders reported smoking cigarettes, compared to 12.2% in 2013; a 31% reduction. Similarly, adults who smoke dropped by 35 percent since 1999; in 2014 just 14.4 percent of adults reported smoking. These are the lowest smoking rates ever recorded in Minnesota.

Tobacco prevention efforts must remain strong.

Tobacco use is still the primary cause of preventable death and disease, claiming the lives of over 6,300 Minnesota adults annually and incurring $3.2 billion annually in medical costs.

chart showing e-cigarette use is now more than double that of cigarettesFurthermore, nearly one in five non-smoking students is repeatedly exposed to secondhand smoke, which causes early death and disease in both children and adults who do not smoke, and nearly 102,100 Minnesota youth are projected to die from smoking.

While the use of cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco have all declined, e-cigarettes are increasingly popular. Among youth, e-cigarette use is now more than double that of cigarettes.

Many communities still use tobacco at higher rates.

Despite declines in tobacco use overall, significant disparities remain among populations historically targeted by the Tobacco Industry.

chart showing disparities in smoking rates among different community groups
The 2016 Minnesota Student Survey revealed American Indian, African American, Hispanic students, as well as students that identify as bisexual, gay, or lesbian, students experiencing severe economic hardship, and those that suffer from mental health and substance use disorders, continue to use tobacco at significantly higher rates.


5/10/2017: MDH Releases Updated Nicotine Health Advisory

MDH released an updated health advisory on the health risks of nicotine youth and pregnant women. The advisory is based on a summary of the latest research on the health risks of nicotine, and reflect findings from the U.S. Surgeon General’s new report E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults. The advisory reports that nicotine exposure can harm brain development during adolescence and poses a serious health risk for youth.

Learn more:

4/21/2017: Research Shows Raising Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21 Would Keep 3,300 MN Youth from Getting Hooked

A campaign to raise the minimum legal sale age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years known as Tobacco 21 is having a nationwide impact, with at least 200 localities in 14 states having already implemented a Tobacco 21 policy. A 2015 report from the Institute of Medicine estimated the effects of such policy on cigarette use at the national level; however, little is known about the expected effects for individual states.

This article estimates that raising the sale age to 21 in 2015 would prevent 3,355 young Minnesotans from starting to smoke. The purpose of this study was to consider the effect on smoking initiation in Minnesota if the minimum sale age were 21 in 2015.

Read full article in the January-February 2017 Issue of Minnesota Medicine

11/30/2016: New smoke-free rule protects Minnesota's public housing residents

facts about smoke-free housingThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released their rule requiring all public housing agencies to have a smoke-free policy, in order to protect residents and staff from secondhand smoke, reduce fire risk and maintenance costs and provide cleaner and safer air for all residents.

These policies will create smoke-free spaces in living units, indoor common areas and public housing agency offices.

Read HUD's news release.
HUD Secretary Castro Announces Public Housing to be Smoke-Free

Read HUD's final rule.
Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing

Smoke-free housing resources

Resources for quitting smoking

6/20/2016: Request for Proposals: Tobacco-Free Communities Grant Program

MDH seeks proposals to implement the Tobacco-Free Communities (TFC) Grant Program, aiming to reduce and prevent youth tobacco use and address tobacco-related disparities in Minnesota by promoting community-driven tobacco prevention and control activities and strategies.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) reinforces MDH's overall goal of advancing health equity and achieving population-level health improvements. This RFP also reflects the statewide goals identified in Minnesota's Comprehensive Tobacco Control Framework, 2016-2021, and input from stakeholders who participated in MDH's 2015 Community Voices input process. This RFP provides funding, training, and other resources to strengthen the capacity of communities to influence their own healthy future and work collaboratively to reduce tobacco-related health disparities and the negative influence of commercial tobacco use in Minnesota.

View the RFP at

5/31/2016: New Report – Community Voices: Reducing Tobacco-Related Health Inequities

We are pleased to share our report Community Voices: Reducing Tobacco-related Health Inequities. In 2015, we initiated the Community Voices input process to address the disproportionately higher rates of commercial tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure among many of our communities.

This report includes input from community stakeholders on the harms of commercial tobacco, approaches to decrease commercial tobacco use and exposure, and strategies to address tobacco-related health inequities. It also includes findings and opportunities for action based on the input gathered.

Read the report at

Updated Thursday, June 08, 2017 at 09:37AM