Letter: Tobacco use is 'still a problem'A new ad campaign from ClearWay Minnesota recently hit the airwaves to demonstrate that tobacco is still a problem here in Minnesota.
By: Paula J. Bloemendaal, MS, Tobacco Control and Policy Coordinator, Southwest Health and Human Services, Luverne, Worthington Daily Globe
A new ad campaign from ClearWay Minnesota recently hit the airwaves to demonstrate that tobacco is still a problem here in Minnesota.
Don’t get me wrong; there have been many big wins in the fight against tobacco. Minnesotans recently celebrated five years of smoke-free air in bars and restaurants thanks to the monumental Freedom to Breathe Act.
But the fact is, the tobacco industry still spends more than $150 million each year in Minnesota alone promoting its deadly products — and its main target is kids.
Tobacco use has far-reaching consequences for our youths, our economy and our healthcare system: 625,000 Minnesotans still smoke, 77,000 Minnesota youth use tobacco, and the state loses 5,100 lives each year due to tobacco.
Tobacco costs Minnesota nearly $3 billion in excess health care each year. As a tobacco-control advocate, it’s clear to me that tobacco is still a problem and we can’t tolerate the costs any longer.
I hope you also find the ads thought provoking. To learn more, please visit www.stillaproblem.com.