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Survey shows smoking rate down in Minnesota

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A new survey shows the adult smoking rate in Minnesota has declined, but the use of smokeless tobacco is on the rise.

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The Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey says the smoking rate has dropped to 16 percent, down a full percentage point from three years ago.

Smoking opponents say additional restrictions on where people can smoke and a couple of large cigarette tax hikes mostly likely influenced more smokers to quit. There's also a decline in the number of people exposed to second-hand smoke. Exposure has dropped 11 percent from the last survey three years ago. The state enacted a smoking ban in bars and restaurants in 2007.

Minnesota Public Radio News says the survey is based on phone interviews with more than 7,000 state residents.

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