Members of the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana coalition have invited public health advocates to express their support of an increase in Indiana’s cigarette tax. The Senate Appropriations Committee will be voting on the state’s budget, HB 1001, March 30.
Along with adequate funding for evidence-based treatment services and a comprehensive tobacco prevention program, increasing the price of tobacco is a proven strategy for reducing the burden of tobacco use at the state level. Indiana’s adult smoking rate has remained around 25% for several years, and a relatively low tobacco tax is partially responsible.
Increasing the price of tobacco has been proven to encourage current tobacco users to use less and others—especially those with lower incomes—to quit completely. It also has a strong effect on preventing children from starting.
According to the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana, “increasing the price of tobacco is the single most effective method for decreasing smoking rates — especially in those under age 18. A 10% increase in the real price of cigarettes would reduce the number of kids who smoke by 6-7% and the number of pregnant women who smoke pregnant women by 7% — and result in $1.4 billion in long-term health care savings, all while adding more than $200 million in new revenue that could be used for boosting Indiana’s cessation efforts and programs.
For more information about how to talk to your elected officials about this issue, visit this page from the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana.
To learn more about HealthNet’s Tobacco Cessation Program, please click here.