ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation, a coalition of 50 organizations working to prevent youth smoking in our state, responded to a new report called "Health Care Costs and Smoking in Minnesota," released by coalition co-chair Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
"We all know the emotional and physical toll that smoking has on citizens of our state," said Molly Moilanen, Director of Public Affairs at ClearWay Minnesota and co-chair of the coalition. "Now we know the dollars and cents cost of tobacco use to Minnesota employers, taxpayers and citizens – billions of dollars spent combatting diseases such as cancer and emphysema."
Smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. This report from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota found:
- Smoking is responsible for 6,312 deaths each year in Minnesota.
- Smoking costs $3.19 billion in excess health care costs.
"It's more important than ever to take common sense steps to keep kids from smoking," said Moilanen. "Raising the tobacco age to 21 and restricting access to kid-friendly flavored tobacco products would reduce health care costs and mean a healthier future for our state."
Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation is a coalition of Minnesota organizations that share a common goal of saving Minnesota youth from a lifetime of addiction to tobacco. In addition to raising the tobacco sale age to 21, the coalition supports keeping tobacco prices high, limiting access to candy-, fruit- and menthol-flavored tobacco and funding future tobacco control programs. Find out more at www.smokefreegenmn.org.
Partners include: A Healthier Southwest, African American Leadership Forum, Allina Health, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Minnesota, Apple Tree Dental, Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota, Becker County Energize, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CentraCare Health, Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Comunidades Latinos Unidas En Servicio – CLUES, Essentia Health, Four Corners Partnership, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, HealthEast, HealthPartners, Hennepin County Medical Center, Hope Dental Clinic, Indigenous Peoples Task Force, ISAIAH, LAAMPP Institute, Lake Region Healthcare, Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative, Local Public Health Association of Minnesota, March of Dimes, Mayo Clinic, Medica, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, Minnesota Cancer Alliance, Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Minnesota Council of Health Plans, Minnesota Hospital Association, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, Minnesota Public Health Association, Model Cities of St. Paul, Inc., NAMI Minnesota, North Memorial Health Care, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, PartnerSHIP 4 Health, Perham Health, Rainbow Health Initiative, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Tobacco Free Alliance, Twin Cities Medical Society and WellShare International.
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SOURCE Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation