Tobacco Prevention and Control

Did you know in Minnesota...

  • More than 102,000 youth are projected to die from smoking?
  • Smoking causes over $2.5 billion in medical costs annually?
  • Tobacco use is still the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death?

We are working to reduce the burden of tobacco by:

  • Preventing initiation of tobacco use among youth and young adults.
  • Reducing tobacco use among youth and adults.
  • Eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Identifying and eliminating tobacco-related disparities.

Learn More


6/10/2015 - Health Advisory: Nicotine Risks for Children and Adolescents

On June 10, a health advisory was issued to inform parents, health care providers and the public about the health risks of nicotine exposure and alert them to the fact that no amount of nicotine is safe for youth. Key points include:

  • Nicotine is highly addictive.
  • Nicotine may harm brain development during adolescence.
  • Nicotine is harmful to fetal health during pregnancy.
  • Nicotine causes harmful physical effects, and can be toxic at any age.

Providers are encouraged to educate and advise parents that there is no safe level of nicotine exposure for pregnant women, small children, or teens, and parents are reminded to keep nicotine products out of reach.

To learn more, please visit

New report highlights increase in youth e-cigarette use nationwide

A new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) released by the CDC shares data from the 2011-2014 National Youth Tobacco Surveys and finds current e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014. Findings show that current e-cigarette use (use on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) among high school students increased from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014, rising from approximately 660,000 to 2 million students. Among middle school students, current e-cigarette use more than tripled from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014—an increase from approximately 120,000 to 450,000 students.

Tobacco use in the past 30 days among high school students, 2014

  • An estimated 24.6% (3.7 million students) used any tobacco product and more than 50% of these students (1.9 million) used 2 or more tobacco products.
  • An estimated 13.4% used e-cigarettes, 9.4% used hookah pipes, 9.2% used cigarettes, 8.2% used cigars, and 5.5% used smokeless tobacco.
  • By race or ethnicity, 26.7% of Hispanics used any tobacco product, followed by 26.5% of non-Hispanic whites, 17.2% of non-Hispanic blacks, and 15.3% of non-Hispanic other races.
  • By sex, 28.3% of males and 20.9% of females used any tobacco product.

The report states that "Youth use of tobacco in any form, whether it be combustible, noncombustible, or electronic, is unsafe (1); regardless of mode of delivery, nicotine exposure during adolescence, a critical time for brain development, might have lasting adverse consequences for brain development (2), causes addiction (3), and might lead to sustained use of tobacco products. Rapid changes in use of traditional and emerging tobacco products among youths underscore the importance of enhanced surveillance of all tobacco use." It also concludes that further reducing youth tobacco use and initiation is achievable through regulation of the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products coupled with proven strategies, including:

  • Funding tobacco control programs at CDC-recommended levels
  • Increasing prices of tobacco products
  • Implementing and enforcing comprehensive smoke-free laws
  • Sustaining hard-hitting media campaigns.

To learn more about these findings visit

New Tips From Former Smokers ads debut March 30th, 2015

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is airing its latest round of ads featuring real people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases. The newest ads in the Tips from Former Smokers campaign tell the story of how real people’s lives were changed forever due to their smoking. 

Tips ad featuring patient with colorectal cancer and her family

Beginning March 30, these ads will run for 20 weeks on television, radio, billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines, and newspapers. This year’s new ads will feature smoking-related health conditions that people don’t commonly associate with cigarette use - including vision loss and colorectal cancer.

Visit to learn more about the campaign.

Institute of Medicine Releases Report on Minimum Age for Tobacco

The Institute of Medicine released its report Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Access to Tobacco Products, which considers public health outcomes of raising the minimum legal age for tobacco products to 19 years, 21 years, and 25 years.

Among the key findings, it was found that raising the minimum age to 21 may result in an estimated 25 percent decrease in tobacco use among adolescents ages 15-17 years.

For more information and access to the full report visit

2014 Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey results released

Results show Minnesota is making progress in reducing tobacco use. Minnesota’s adult smoking rate fell to 14.4 percent, the lowest rate ever recorded in the state. These new findings indicate that statewide efforts for reducing tobacco use are working.

a chart showing the 2014 smoking rate for Minnesota adults at 14.4 percent vs the national rate at 17.3 percent.

However, tobacco is still a problem. Menthol cigarettes are used by a quarter of all smokers, and the use of other tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes and hookah, has increased.

To learn more, visit

Updated Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 11:34AM