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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

Blue Cross releases new cost of smoking report

Tuesday, November 23, 2010  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

Last week, Blue Cross released a report that shows each year smoking is responsible for 5,135 deaths in Minnesota and $2.87 billion in excess medical costs to treat diseases caused by smoking. The report, titled "Health Care Costs and Smoking in Minnesota,” was completed by Jeffrey Fellows, Ph.D., and a nationally-known health economist from the Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

While they've made great strides in reducing tobacco use in Minnesota from 22% in 1999 to 17% in 2007, tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death in our state. The recent Great American Smokeout provides a perfect opportunity for us to remind smokers to quit and renew our prevention efforts around tobacco use in hopes of controlling these costs.

For consistency among statewide tobacco control partners, I encourage you and your colleagues to now use these new numbers when referring to the human and economic toll tobacco takes in Minnesota. The numbers previously used -- $1.98 billion and 5,689 lives -- were from our 2005 study and based off 2002 data. These new numbers are based off of 2007 data and are thus the most current data available.

Here is a link to the report:

Link to the news release:
Should you have questions please contact Marc Manley at 651-662-6356,

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