North Mankato Citizens Spend $598 Each Per Year on Health Care Costs for Tobacco-Related Diseases
(January 12, 2018) -
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Minnesota spends $3.2 billion annually on tobacco-related health care costs, equating to $598 per person, per year, according to a 2017 report, Additionally, tobacco claims 5,900 lives each year and is the leading cause of preventable death in our state.
In an effort to improve community health and decrease health care costs, the American Lung Association in Minnesota urges the North Mankato City Council to vote to raise the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 following their public hearing on Tuesday, January 16.
“Tobacco is an epidemic in our state and in our community,” said Erin Simmons, senior manager of tobacco control for the American Lung Association in Minnesota. “It is a significant cause of addiction, disease and death, but also is a burden on our finances. Raising the tobacco purchasing age is proven to reduce the number of people who start smoking young, which curtails the costs associated with tobacco-related diseases.”
Studies show that there is wide support for and compelling facts in support of raising the tobacco purchasing age, including:
- 95% of adult smokers start before age 21.
- Young people are more vulnerable than older adults to nicotine addiction, which can harm brain development.
- 75% of adults favor raising the tobacco age to 21, including 70% of current smokers and 65% of those aged 18-24.
- Four Minnesota cities have passed ordinances raising the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21; Edina, St Louis Park, Bloomington and Plymouth.
- Five U.S. states have passed ordinances raising the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21; they include California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon.
“North Mankato has always been a place where health and wellness is a key value for all of our residents, so we encourage our City Council members to make the right decision for our citizens and our community,” Simmons added.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.