Tobacco Prevention and Control:
Quit Tobacco

Nearly 20 percent of Minnesota’s adults smoke cigarettes, and 51 percent of them tried to quit in 2010. Tobacco users can, and do, quit. In fact, there are now more former smokers than current smokers.

Two women breathing fresh clean air

What are the benefits to quitting?

There are many benefits to quitting. Below are just a few.

Looking and feeling better

Tobacco use is not only addictive, it increases the risks of many tobacco-related health effects and is the single greatest preventable cause of death in Minnesota and the nation. However, quitting can significantly reduce these risks. What's more, the human body begins to heal within just minutes of quitting:

An older gentleman stretching
  • Within 20 minutes, heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • After 1 year, the risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker's.
  • After 5 years, stroke risk is reduced.
  • After 10 years, the risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases.

Additionally, quitting may help prevent bad breath, stained teeth, and premature wrinkles, which are also associated with smoking.

Protecting family and friends from the dangers of secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke causes early death and disease in both children and adults who do not smoke. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke; even brief exposure can be harmful. Children and infants exposed to secondhand smoke may experience:

  • A greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Siblings embracing
  • Frequent and severe asthma attacks.
  • Respiratory infections, like pneumonia or bronchitis.
  • Respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Ear infections.

Saving money

After quitting, money normally spent on tobacco products, like a pack of cigarettes, could be spent on other things, such as home repairs, new shoes or clothes, or a much-needed vacation. Additionally, quitting now may help prevent costly medical bills down the road.

How much do cigarettes cost you? Find out using this Quit Smoking Calculator from QUITPLAN.

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Where can I go for help?


QUITPLAN Services logo QUITPLAN Services is a free quit-tobacco service that has helped more than 100,000 Minnesotans in their efforts to quit. Support is available to anyone who lives in Minnesota.

Visit or call 1-888-354-PLAN (7526).

Programs for diverse communities

Asian Smokers' Quitline

This is a free program to help smokers quit. Services include self-help materials, a referral list of other programs, one-on-one counseling over the phone, and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches. Visit

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe - Tobacco Cessation Services

This program offers support services including one-on-one office visits, home visits, and phone counseling, as well as educational materials and incentives to all Mille Lacs Band Of Ojibwe community members.

Contact Becky Swansey, LPN, at 320-532-7760 or for more information.

Smokefree Teen

Smokefree Teen helps teens take control of their health. It offers free support for quitting, including their QuitSTART smartphone app. Visit

Smokefree Women

Smokefree Women is intended to help you or someone you care about quit smoking and is designed to try to provide information about topics that are often important to women. Topics include pregnancy and motherhood, stress and mood, and weight management. Visit

Your health plan's quitline

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota: 1-888-662-BLUE (2583)
  • BlueLink: 1-888-662-BLUE (2583)
  • CCStpa: 1-888-662-QUIT (7848)
  • HealthPartners: 1-800-311-1052
  • Medica: 1-800-934-4824
  • Metropolitan Health Plan (MHP): 1-888-354-PLAN (7526)
  • Mayo Clinic Health Systems Mankato: 1-888-288-1881
  • Mayo Medical Plan: 1-888-288-1881
  • MMSI: 1-888-642-5566
  • PreferredOne: 1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE
  • PrimeWest Health: 1-800-474-3186
  • South Country Health Alliance: 1-800-504-3451
  • UCare: 1-888-642-5566

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For more information:

The benefits of quitting

Tips and tools for quitting

Helping people quit

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Updated Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 12:47PM