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Associated Press, Published October 01 2012

Minnesota marks 5-year anniversary of smoking law

ST. PAUL — Minnesota's smoking law has made a noticeable difference in the health of state residents.

On the law's 5-year anniversary Monday, state health commissioner Dr. Edward Ehlinger says a study from the Mayo Clinic shows a decline in heart attacks after the ban took effect. Ehlinger says there's a notable decline in exposure to second-hand smoke and the number of addicted smokers has dropped.

Even though strides have been made in the health of Minnesotans, the American Lung Association estimates 625,000 Minnesotans still smoke. It attributes the deaths of 5,100 state residents each year to smoking.

Pat McKone is director of mission programs for the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. McKone tells the Duluth News Tribune the tobacco industry spends $157 million per year in Minnesota marketing its products.

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Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.