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Survey shows smoking rate down in Minnesota

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.

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.