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American Lung Association Report: Minnesota Earns 'Thumbs Up' for Helping Its Poorest Citizens Quit Smoking

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 General News J E 4
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SAINT PAUL, Minn., Jan. 12 Minnesota is one of only six states that covers all recommended tobacco cessation medications and counseling for its citizens coved by Medicare, according to an annual "report card" issued today by the American Lung Association. Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Pennsylvania are the other states honored with a 'thumbs up,' although no state earned an "A" grade for cessation coverage this year. The focus on covering cessation and counseling coverage for poorer Americans is important because statistically, they smoke at much higher rates than other Americans.

"This is a time of year when many people resolve to quit smoking," said Penny Gottier Fena, executive director of the American Lung Association in Minnesota. "To help them, we offer a free telephone helpline service at 1-800-548-8252."

In the latest "State of Tobacco Control" report, Minnesota scored the same grades as last year: "F" for tobacco prevention and control spending, an "A" for smokefree air and a "C" ranking for cigarette taxes, and a "B" grade for smoking cessation programs for state employees and those covered by state Medicare programs.

A link to the entire report is available online at www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org.

SOURCE American Lung Association of Minnesota
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