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Published January 24, 2013, 05:42 PM

North Dakota Gets High Marks for Smoking Prevention

The state of Minnesota received a failing grade when it comes to programs to prevent smokers from lighting up. But on the other side of the river, North Dakota is one of only two states to get an "A" for tobacco prevention.

The state of Minnesota received a failing grade when it comes to programs to prevent smokers from lighting up. But on the other side of the river, North Dakota is one of only two states to get an "A" for tobacco prevention.

School principals and guidance counselors are trying to nix the problem at a young age. Grand Forks schools as well as schools on the east side have curriculum in place all the way down to the elementary level in an attempt to teach kids to do the right thing. Officials on the east side say it's tough to gauge the amount of information students are taking in and think there's an overemphasis on certain subjects, leaving education on smoking not a top priority.

Lon Ellingson, East Grand Forks Central Principal, "Health, social studies, some of those other kinds of courses kind of at times get pushed to the back burner." Kris Arason, Red River High School Principal, "That just has to do with our North Dakota values and how our kids are raised and the families that we have in north dakota so I think it speaks volumes for our state." Ellingson says having Grand Forks as a sister city definitely helps set a good example.

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