Health leaders praise new plan to keep kids from smoking

Lenczewski bill will raise price of tobacco to improve health for all Minnesotans

Jan 17, 2013, 15:56 ET from Raise it for Health

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Raise it for Health coalition, a group of Minnesota's leading health and nonprofit organizations, praised Representative Anne Lenczewski (D-Bloomington) today for proposing new legislation aimed at keeping kids from smoking and helping addicted adults kick the habit.

"We would like to thank Representative Lenczewski for answering the public's call to raise the tobacco tax," said Matt Schafer, State Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. "The price of tobacco is the single biggest influence to keep kids from smoking and help adults quit. Raising that price will save lives and break the cycle of addiction among Minnesota kids."

Raise it for Health is a coalition of Minnesota's leading health and nonprofit organizations who share a common goal of reducing tobacco use in the state. Sixteen percent of Minnesotans still smoke, and 77,000 kids will use tobacco this year. Tobacco-related illnesses kill 5,100 people each year; more than alcohol, homicides, car accidents, AIDS, illegal drugs and suicide combined.

A significant increase in the tobacco tax would save 47,700 Minnesota kids from becoming addicted adults, help 36,600 Minnesotans quit and save 27,700 Minnesotans from premature smoking-related deaths.

Raise it for Health partners include: AARP Minnesota, Allina Health, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Minnesota, Association for Nonsmokers – MN, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CentraCare Health System, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Courage Center, Four Corners Partnership, HealthEast Care System, HealthPartners, LAAMPP Institute, Local Public Health Association, Mayo Clinic, Medica, Metro-MN Oncology Nursing Society, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, Minnesota Cancer Alliance, Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, Minnesota Council of Health Plans, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Public Health Association, Park Nicollet Health Services, PartnerSHIP 4 Health, School Nurse Organization of Minnesota, Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota, Southwest Community Health Improvement Program, and Twin Cities Medical Society.

SOURCE Raise it for Health