Tobacco use has been dropping in Minnesota for years, but there is one community where nicotine addiction remains stronger than ever.
“In the Upper Midwest, the smoking rate among mainstream Minnesotans is about 14 percent,” said Adam Kintopf, senior communications manager for the anti-smoking nonprofit ClearWay Minnesota. “Among American Indians, however, the smoking rate is 59 percent. These are communities that are experiencing really high rates of cancer, heart disease, any number of tobacco-related diseases. It is a big priority for us to do work where it’s needed most.”