Jan 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A new report shows that 19 percent of Minnesota adults still smoke.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows the state's ranking for adult smoking fell from 7th to 11th place among all states. The last time the CDC compared states was 2009.
State Commissioner of Health Edward Ehlinger says 11th isn't good enough for Minnesota. He says the cost of tobacco in terms of lives and about $2.8 billion in annual medical costs is too high.
Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in Minnesota and the U.S.
Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed a 94 cents-a-pack tax increase to deter smoking. Minnesota's cigarette excise tax ranks 28th among states.
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