Before our State Legislature breaks for the season, the American Lung Association urges Indiana lawmakers to take two critical steps in the name of public health: raise the cigarette tax by $2.00 and restore funding for tobacco prevention and cessation. The American Lung Association in Indiana issued the following statement which can be attributed to Tiffany Nichols, Advocacy Director of the Lung Association in Indiana:
"The American Lung Association urges Indiana lawmakers to take two critical steps in the name of public health: raise the cigarette tax by $2.00 and restore funding for tobacco prevention and cessation.
Every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces consumption by seven percent among youth and four percent among adults.
Raising the cigarette tax by $2 per pack will help tens of thousands of youths and adults quit smoking and protect tens of thousands of more youth from ever becoming addicted. It would also generate significant new revenue that lawmakers could use to fund public health programs.
It’s a win-win proposition: significantly increasing cigarette taxes results in fewer kids starting to smoke, and in more adults quitting while at the same time providing substantial revenue to restore tobacco prevention and cessation program funding to $15 million annually.
This is the second piece of work that our lawmakers should finish before break. Restoring funding for our state’s tobacco prevention and cessation (TPC) programming means more community-based organizations, schools and medical providers will have the resources to assist our youth that are struggling with a tobacco addiction.
We need to be prepared for the estimated 2,300 Hoosier youth under the age of 18 that will become new daily smokers each year in Indiana.
More than 2.5 million high and middle school students currently use e-cigarettes. This dramatic increase in tobacco use among kids has overwhelmed schools.
We urge Indiana legislators to do the right thing, restore TPC funding to $15 million annually to reduce our youth tobacco rates. Restoring funding and raising the cigarette tax to $2 are two significant steps our State Legislature to take to invest in public health now and in the future."
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.