Indiana behind nation in policy efforts to prevent, reduce tobacco use

(Source: Gray News)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:02 PM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WNDU) - Indiana is lagging behind in tobacco control policies, according to a report from the American Lung Association.

Per the report, Indiana has a yearly average adult smoking rate of 17.3 percent. 22.9 percent of high school students also report tobacco product usage in the state.

Indiana received an “F” in funding for prevention programs, as well as an F for the level of state tobacco taxes. The state also received a failing grade in ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products.

All of Indiana’s grades are listed below:

1. Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F

2. Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade C

3. Level of State Tobacco Taxes – Grade F

4. Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco – Grade D

5. Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products – Grade F

The report went on to offer Indiana lawmakers solutions to curb smoking by enacting legislation to allocate $30 million biennially to the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission and by raising the cigarette tax by at least $2.00.

Multiple studies have shown that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces consumption by about 4 percent among adults and about 7 percent among youth.

The report stressed that investment in prevention is critical in combatting the ongoing youth vaping epidemic. Despite the state receiving $536 million from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, Indiana only funds tobacco efforts at 12.7 percent of the CDC recommended level.

Learn more on the American Lung Association website.