(Access to Coverage of Tobacco Treatment In Our Nation)
Shaping Policies | Improving Health
October 2, 2012 Monday marked a very important day in the state of Minnesota. Five years ago a law was put into effect that made it illegal to smoke in public places. Previously, smoking and non-smoking sections were a commonality; now the entire restaurant or bar is a non-smoking section. The American Lung Association estimates that 625,000 Minnesotans still smoke and it says 5,100 die each year due to smoking. But a study done in Minnesota shows that there is a noticeable decline in heart attacks and in exposure to second-hand smoke. It could be thanks - in part - to the Minnesota Clean Air Act.
“When people can’t smoke indoors, they start thinking about quitting,” said Dr. J. Taylor Hayes of the Nicotine Dependency Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. That was the goal of the non-smoking law that went into effect five years ago, and Dr. Hayes says it is working out as planned.
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