Skip to main content

Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Minnesota got mixed grades in the American Lung Association's 19th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report card. 

The annual report tracks federal and state efforts to protect people from the adverse impacts of tobacco, grading the state in five areas. Here's what Minnesota got: 

  • Smoke-free workplace laws – A
  • State tobacco taxes – B
  • Coverage of and access to services to quit tobacco (cessation services) – B
  • Funding for tobacco prevention programs – F
  • Ending the sale of flavored tobacco products (a new category in this year's report) – F

The report found the smoking rate for adults is 14.6%. The smoking rate for high schoolers is 5.3%, while the tobacco-use rate for high school students is much higher, at 28%. 

“In Minnesota, our tobacco use rates for high school are an unacceptable 28%. The surge in youth vaping combined with the fact that smoking increases the chance of severe COVID-19 symptoms, make it more important than ever for Minnesota to implement the proven measures outlined in ‘State of Tobacco Control’ to prevent and reduce tobacco use,” American Lung Association Senior Director Pat McKone said in a news release.

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking, the report says. 

“State of Tobacco Control 2021 provides an important roadmap on how states like Minnesota and the federal government can put in place the policies proven to have the greatest impact on reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Because of COVID-19, we are all thinking more about lung health," McKone said in a statement. "Now is the time for lawmakers in Minnesota to act and take this opportunity to achieve lasting reductions in tobacco-related death and disease."

The American Lung Association calls on Minnesota lawmakers to reduce tobacco use by prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products, securing sustainable funding for tobacco prevention strategies, and raising the tax on all tobacco products by "significant amounts."

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday in his budget proposal announcement did suggest an increase in some tobacco-related taxes to help fund other aspects of his budget. Republican lawmakers however called the tax hikes on tobacco "regressive" in its criticisms of the Democratic governor's budget. 

The latest forecast from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up

police tape

3 at trauma centers in critical condition after rural MN attack

Two victims and the alleged attacker are in critical condition.

grinch neighbor

Neighborhood 'grinch' sends letter to Burnsville family over holiday lights

A Burnsville family's holiday decorations were the subject of an anonymous complaint.


Anthropologie shutters Grand Avenue store, opening planned for Rosedale Center

The popular holiday shopping weekend marked the last for customers of the Grand Avenue store.

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.


Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.



MN House passes bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21

The legislation has also bipartisan support in the state senate.


Minnesota teens are still vaping at a 'very high rate'

The majority of youth e-cig users report signs of nicotine dependence, MDH says.


Ramsey County bans smoking, vaping on its property

The new ordinance will take effect Aug. 26.


More cases of vaping-linked severe lung injuries reported in Minnesota

Health officials say there have been a further 11 suspected cases.


Death of Minnesota man in Tennessee linked to vaping THC

Minnesota has recorded three vaping-associated deaths.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires entering Minnesota

Expect the smoke to work its way all the way to St. Cloud.