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Continued: Across Minnesota, pockets of high smoking remain

  • Article by: JEFF HARGARTEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 23, 2015 - 1:55 PM

While smoking rates are higher in lower income counties, sharp increases in cigarette prices and taxes — including a $1.60 tax hike that took effect last year — have not always worked as a deterrent. The price of tobacco accounted for 43 percent of the reasons why Minnesotans quit smoking from 1993 to 2011, according to ClearWay data.

“It didn’t bother me,” Laging said. “If you want to smoke, you’ll find a way to get the cigarettes.”

Anyone who hasn’t been addicted to something may never be able to “wrap their heads around” the stress and challenges involved with smoking and quitting, Laging said. “It’s a really screwed up habit.”


Jeff Hargarten • 612-673-4642

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