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Each Year, Smoking Claims More than 6,000 Lives in Minnesota, and Costs the State over $3 Billion


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(OPEN):
EACH YEAR, THROUGHOUT MINNESOTA, SMOKING IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE THAN SIX-THOUSAND DEATHS--ALONG WITH OVER THREE-BILLION DOLLARS, IN EXCESS MEDICAL-COSTS.  AND, WHILE THE TOTAL SMOKING-RATE HAS DROPPED TO A HISTORIC LOW, THERE ARE MANY POPULATIONS THAT CONTINUE TO SMOKE AT DISPROPORTIONATELY HIGH RATES.  THAT'S ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT ISSUED BY "BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF MINNESOTA"JANELLE WALDOCK IS A VICE-PRESIDENT AT "BLUE CROSS"...

(WALDOCK):
"
TREATING SMOKING-RELATED DISEASES AND CONDITIONS--INCLUDING CANCER, EMPHYSEMA, AND HEART-DISEASE--CARRIES A HEAVY FINANCIAL-BURDEN, FOR MINNESOTA-TAXPAYERS, -EMPLOYERS, AND -GOVERNMENTS--EQUALING NEARLY 600 DOLLARS, FOR EVERY ADULT AND CHILD IN THE STATE, EACH YEAR.  WHEN IT COMES TO TOBACCO-USE, DEEP INEQUITIES PERSIST--AS MANY POPULATIONS ARE MORE FREQUENTLY TARGETED BY TOBACCO-INDUSTRY MARKETING, AND CONTINUE TO SMOKE AT DISPROPORTIONATELY HIGHER RATES.  THIS INCLUDES INDIVIDUALS WITH LOWER INCOMES, COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, AND THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM MENTAL-HEALTH ISSUES.  FOR INSTANCE, EVEN THOUGH 14-PERCENT OF ALL ADULTS IN THE STATE SMOKE, THAT FIGURE GROWS TO 24-PERCENT OF SOMALIS--AND 59-PERCENT OF AMERICAN INDIANS.  AS A RESULT, MANY COMMUNITIES ARE AT A GREATER RISK FOR PREMATURE DEATH AND DISEASE.  MUCH WORK REMAINS, TO REDUCE THE BURDENS THAT SMOKING AND OTHER TOBACCO-RELATED HEALTH-INEQUITIES PUT ON OUR STATE--ECONOMIC AND OTHERWISE."

(CLOSE):
TO LEARN MORE, VISIT "BLUE-CROSS-M-N"-DOT-COM.



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