Tobacco Prevention and Control: Data and Reports

Tobacco Prevention and Control:
Data and Reports

Fast Facts

  • 6,300 Minnesotans die every year due to smoking.
  • Smoking causes over $3.2 billion in medical costs annually in Minnesota.
  • 580,000 Minnesotans, 14.4 percent of the state’s population, still smoke.
  • 102,100 Minnesota youth are projected to die from smoking.
  • Tobacco kills more Minnesotans than alcohol, homicides, car accidents, AIDS, illegal drugs, and suicide combined.

Data highlights

Adult data

Cigarette use

Cigarette smoking among Minnesota adults has decreased sharply.

  • 14.4% (down from 16.1% in 2010) of adult Minnesotans smoke cigarettes.
    • Minnesota’s smoking rate is lower than the national average.
    • This is a 35% reduction since 1999, and the lowest smoking rate ever recorded in Minnesota.

    Menthol cigarette use

  • 25.1% percent of smokers smoke menthol cigarettes.
    • Women use menthol cigarettes at higher rates than men (29.2% compared to 21.9%).
    • Young adults have the highest menthol use rate of any age group (31.6%).

    Secondhand smoke exposure

    More Minnesotans are making their homes smoke free.

    • The vast majority of Minnesotans (89.3 percent) are voluntarily making their homes smoke free. This includes a majority of smokers’ homes (61.4 percent).
      • There are reported declines in exposure in the community at large and in cars.

      E-cigarette use

      Use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products is on the rise.

    • 17.8% of adults have ever tried e-cigarettes.
    • 5.9% (up from 0.7% in 2010) of adults used e-cigarettes at least once in the past 30 days.
    • Young adults, ages 18-24, use e-cigarettes at the highest rate of any age group, at 12.8 percent.
    • 65.8% of Minnesotans who used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days are current smokers. 22.5% are former smokers. 11.7% have never smoked.

    Other tobacco products

    • 1.4% (up from 0.7% in 2010) of adults used hookah in the past 30 days.
    • Young adults, ages 18-24, use hookah at the highest rate of any age group, at 7.9 percent.


      A majority of Minnesotans who smoke want to quit.

      • In 2014, 53.4 percent of current adult Minnesota smokers (307,000 individuals) stopped smoking for one day or longer in an attempt to quit.

      Increasing the price of tobacco supports smokers in quitting.

      • Smokers reported the 2013 tax increase on cigarettes by $1.60/pack influenced their smoking behavior.
        • Nearly 63% of smokers who quit reported the price increase helped, and helped keep them from smoking again.

        Source: 2014 Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey

Tobacco-related disparities

Despite declines in overall youth and adult smoking rates, tobacco use is still a problem. Many Minnesota communities continue to use tobacco at high rates.

Among youth

The primary sources of tobacco use data on youth are the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey (MYTS) and the Minnesota Student Survey (MSS). These surveys serve different purposes. The MYTS offers detailed information at the statewide level on tobacco use, emerging products, secondhand smoke exposure, media exposure, and other topics. However, the sample size is too small to provide reliable estimates of tobacco use among Minnesota’s racial and ethnic groups and other small population groups. The MSS, on the other hand, is a comprehensive youth survey that contains just a handful of tobacco use indicators, but it is large enough to report these indicators by race and ethnic groups, economic status, and sexual orientation.

Tobacco use is still high in some student populations.

Among 11th grade students in Minnesota who used tobacco in the last 30 days:

  • 35.6% of students experiencing serious economic distress (students skipping meals or being homeless) use tobacco.
  • 35.2% of gay, lesbian or bisexual students use tobacco.
  • 29.2% of American Indian or Alaska Native students use tobacco.
  • 23.2% of students in small town and rural school districts (with less than 2,000 students) in Greater Minnesota use tobacco.

Source: 2013 Minnesota Student Survey

Among adults

Low socioeconomic status

Adult smokers in Minnesota are more likely to have completed fewer years of education and to have lower incomes than nonsmokers.

  • Minnesotans with less than a high-school education have the highest smoking rate (28.6 percent), while Minnesotans who completed a college education smoke the least (5.1 percent).
  • Among Minnesota adults with annual household incomes of $35,000 or less, 24.4 percent are current smokers, while 8.7 percent of those with household incomes above $75,000 smoke.

Source: 2014 Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ)

Smoking remains high in Minnesota LGBTQ populations.

  • 25% of LGBTQ persons smoke every day or some days per week. In comparison, 14% of the general population of Minnesota smokes.
  • Bisexual persons smoke at a higher rate than any other sexual orientation at 31%, compared to 22% of lesbian and gay persons and 23% of queer persons.

Source: 2014 Voices of Health survey

    Minnesota American Indian communities

    Smoking remains high in Minnesota American Indian populations.

  • 59% of American Indian adults are current smokers.

Source: 2013 Tribal Tobacco Use Project survey

Minnesota tobacco data sources

Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey

an infographic summarizing highlights from the 2014 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey

The Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey (MYTS) has been conducted since 2000, by the Minnesota Department of Health to provide comprehensive, in depth information on the tobacco use of young people and to design and evaluate prevention efforts. The MYTS is a representative sample survey. The sixth MYTS was conducted in 2014, and previous surveys took place in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011. In 2014, 4,200 students from 70 schools participated (6th-12th grades).

For more information about this survey, visit

Minnesota Student Survey

The Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) is conducted every three years among populations of Minnesota public schools. The census-like survey asks questions about activities, experiences, and behaviors. Topics covered include: tobacco, alcohol and drug use, school climate, physical activity, violence and safety, health, connections with school and family, and other topics.

The survey is administered jointly by the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, Human Services, and Public Safety. The Minnesota Student Survey collects data by 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grades. In 2013, nearly 165,000 public school students participated in the survey.

For more information about this survey, visit

Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey

The Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey (MATS) is a collaborative effort between ClearWay Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health. MATS is the most thorough source of information about tobacco behaviors, attitudes and beliefs in Minnesota and helps measure the progress of Minnesota’s comprehensive tobacco control program. Previous MATS surveys were conducted in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2014.

The 2014 MATS is a cross-sectional, random digit-dial telephone survey, conducted from February to July 2014 among adults aged 18 and older living in Minnesota. The sample of 9,304 responding adults consisted of 5,300 from a statewide landline sample and 4,004 from a cell phone sample.

For more information about this survey, visit

Tribal Tobacco Use Project

The Tribal Tobacco Use Project (TTUP) is part of a unique collaborative research partnership known as the American Indian Community Tobacco Projects which is led by John Poupart of the American Indian Policy Center and Jean Forster of the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. These projects involve American Indian people in every aspect of the research.

For more information about this survey, visit

Voices of Health: A Survey of LGBTQ Health in Minnesota

The Rainbow Health Initiative collects an annual Voices of Health survey about LGBTQ health access, experiences, and disparities in Minnesota in person at Pride events around the state and online. In 2014, 1,859 people completed the survey, 1,351 of whom identified as LGBTQ.

The 2014 survey was designed with input from LGBTQ community members and national LGBTQ health leaders. The survey was designed to gather as much information as possible while being easy to understand, comparable to both other studies and RHI’s previous surveys, and relevant to the work of Rainbow Health Initiative.

For more information about this survey, visit

For more information

Updated Friday, May 19, 2017 at 07:22AM