A report by the American Cancer Society shows Indiana could do more to help smokers quit.
The findings were published in the study, How Do You Measure Up? A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality, which measured each state on five key areas of tobacco prevention:
- Cigarette tax rates
- Cigarette tax increases
- Smoke-free laws
- Prevention funding
- Medicaid coverage of tobacco cessation
Indiana fell short in all categories, except for tobacco cessation treatment coverage for Medicaid enrollees.
“Prevention and control programs reduce tobacco use and related diseases, resulting in lower health care costs and, most importantly, more lives saved,” said Brianna Herndon, Indiana government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “Indiana can’t expect to help Hoosiers effectively fight the toxic grip of tobacco without supporting these critical resources.”
In 2013, the Indiana legislature cut tobacco prevention and control funding to $5.8 million, which is 7.8 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation.
Also, Indiana’s cigarette tax of $0.995 per pack remains lower than the national average of $1.54. The lower tax makes starting or continuing to smoke more affordable and puts state funding for health programs at risk, noted Herndon.
Last May, the CDC named Indiana as one of seven states that provided complete tobacco cessation treatment coverage for Medicaid enrollees. The state was praised for covering all seven FDA-approved tobacco cessation medications, as well as individual and group cessation counseling for its participants.
Additionally, the report graded states on seven other policy areas:
- Breast and cervical cancer early detection program funding
- Tanning device restrictions for minors
- Physical education time requirements
- Increased access to Medicaid
- Policies to prevent and treat pain
- Access to palliative care
- Restrictions on tobacco ratings
Read the full report here.
Hotline helps patients stop smoking
Your patients can get additional help to end their smoking habit by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation offers more information here.