Minnesota marks 5 year anniversary of state-wide smoking ban

Published On: Oct 01 2012 11:47:15 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 02 2012 08:08:18 AM CDT
CALEDONIA, Minn. -

Health officials in Minnesota are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the state's smoke-free law. And a new study shows it's making a difference.

The study from the Mayo Clinic shows a decline in heart attacks after the ban took effect. The state's health commissioner also says there's been a notable decline in exposure to second-hand smoke and the number of addicted smokers has dropped.

A nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System in Caledonia says they've seen encouraging signs with the number of diabetics who smoke as well. "We've seen a 2% decrease in their smoking over the past several years and so of course that's a big advantage for diabetics, not to be smokers because that's just one more risk factor for them," said Certified Nurse Practitioner Deborah Miller from Mayo Clinic Health System in Caledonia.

Good Times is a family restaurant in Caledonia. They say they originally took some heat from customers when the ban went into effect, but since then, they believe it's helped attract more business. "I think families feel more welcome when they come out and they don't have to be surrounded by a bar atmosphere," said Good Times Manager Rachel Stackhouse.

Even with the state-wide smoking ban, the American Lung Association estimates 625,000 Minnesotans still smoke.