ClearWay Minnesota will close its door for good at the end of 2021. Founded with the state’s tobacco settlement, the limited-life organization has spent the past 24 years using proven science and innovative programs to reduce the harms caused by cigarette smoking and other commercial tobacco use.

Founded in 1998 with 3% ($202 million) of the settlement Minnesota received after suing major cigarette manufacturers, and built on CDC best practices, ClearWay Minnesota was a comprehensive organization, with a scope of work among the broadest of any commercial tobacco prevention organization in the country. ClearWay Minnesota’s flagship program was QUITPLAN Services, which gave quitting help to 200,000 Minnesotans. 

ClearWay Minnesota also gave $33 million in grants to researchers, leading studies like the Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey and the Tribal Tobacco Use Project.

ClearWay Minnesota led advocacy coalitions to pass major policies like the lifesaving Freedom to Breathe Act and Tobacco 21, and with partners, helped dedicate state resources to replace QUITPLAN Services and secure new investments for future prevention efforts.

The organization was also known for its innovative work to improve equity within Minnesota communities, partnering with American Indian tribes to restore traditional tobacco ways, working with African American advocates to weaken the grip of menthol and giving communities of color and LGBTQ leaders tools to address commercial tobacco among their people.

The tobacco industry still spends $100 million a year in Minnesota. Its ongoing efforts to attract individuals to tobacco products has led to high youth vaping rates, discouraged quitting and undermined policy solutions that protect health.

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