Tobacco Prevention and Control

Tobacco Prevention and Control

Tobacco use kills 6,312 Minnesotans every year and costs Minnesota $3.2 billion annually in medical costs. Investing in tobacco prevention and control saves lives and taxpayer dollars.

We're Working to Reduce Tobacco's Harm

Reducing youth access to tobacco

Reducing secondhand smoke exposure
Increasing access to cessation resources

Addressing tobacco-related disparities

Historic Progress

Thanks to effective, evidence-based policies that ensure clean indoor air and keep tobacco prices high, Minnesota’s smoking rates are the lowest ever recorded.

Among 11th graders, smoking fell from 12.2 percent in 2013 to 8.4 percent in 2016. Among adults, smoking fell from 16.1 percent in 2010 to 14.4 percent in 2014.

A Changing Landscape

More kids are using new and flavored products, like e-cigarettes. E-cigarette use is twice as high as conventional cigarettes. Nicotine, found in these products, is highly addictive and harmful to the adolescent brain.

Learn more

More Work to Do

Many communities still use tobacco at significantly higher rates. Culturally appropriate and community-led efforts are needed to close these gaps.


Despite overall declines in adult cigarette use, some populations still smoke at higher rates, including people with behavioral health issues such as mental illness and substance use disorders. For people in substance abuse treatment, quitting can increase long-term abstinence from alcohol and other drugs.

Communities can take steps to reduce tobacco use among people with behavioral health issues.

  • Change norms around tobacco treatment for people with behavioral health issues.
  • Integrate tobacco screening and treatment referral.
  • Implement comprehensive tobacco-free grounds policies.
Learn more about Behavioral Health and Tobacco Use in Minnesota.

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:

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

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

Updated Friday, December 01, 2017 at 09:21AM