Tobacco & Nicotine
- Decreases in smoking prevalence from recent decades have slowed, and national goals to reduce tobacco use remain unmet. Healthcare providers, including those in physician and dental teams, have access to evidence-based guidelines to help patients quit smoking. Translation of those guidelines into practice, however, remains low. Approaches that involve screening for drug use, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) are a promising, practical solution.
- Menthol cigarettes account for 25% of the market in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration currently is considering regulatory action on tobacco products, including a ban on menthol cigarettes. With 39% of menthol smokers reporting that they would quit smoking if menthol cigarettes were banned, there is a need to better understand whether existing cessation programs, such as quitlines, are serving menthol smokers.
- Smokefree workplace policies have successfully limited indoor exposure to secondhand smoke. However, exposure still exists in other indoor locations, most notably in the home.
- Bans on smoking in public areas have increased as knowledge of secondhand smoke dangers has grown. Restrictions on smoking in public areas may lead to less smoking and increased quitting.
- Minnesota has a long history of leadership in tobacco control, dating back to a 1975 Clean Indoor Air law limiting smoking indoors. In 1998, a settlement was reached to a lawsuit the state and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota had brought against cigarette manufacturers and related trade associations accusing them of failing to disclose information about the dangers and addictive qualities of cigarettes. As part of the settlement, the nonprofit organization ClearWay MinnesotaSM was created to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke through research, action, and collaboration.