Indiana’s efforts to improve Hoosier’s health by reducing tobacco use are failing, according to a new report from the American Lung Association (ALA). The 13th annual “State of Tobacco Control” report gave Indiana poor grades for its tobacco policies. However, Indiana was one of two states praised for offering comprehensive cessation benefits for Medicaid patients.
“Indiana’s failing grades reflect this trend of missed opportunities by our elected officials to pass proven policies that will reduce tobacco use and save lives,“said the ALA in Indiana.
The report noted that no state passed a comprehensive smokefree law or significantly increased tobacco taxes or earned an “A” grade for providing access to cessation treatments. Only two states are funding their state tobacco prevention programs at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Our state’s current cigarette tax rate is .995, the lowest of all surrounding states except Kentucky.
Studies showed that increased cigarette taxes reduced smoking rates by about 4 percent among adults and 7 percent among youth.
Higher taxes also provide additional revenue for smoking cessation programs.
The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency estimates that every pack of cigarettes purchased equates to $15.90 in health care costs, lost productivity and premature death for Hoosiers.
Read the complete ALA report here.
Quitline offers resources for patients
Help your patients stop smoking by encouraging them to use the free Indiana Tobacco Quitline. By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669), smokers can talk to experienced professional coaches trained in cognitive behavioral therapy.
Find out more at in.gov.
E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to tobacco. Read an in-depth piece on e-liquids, the substances vaporized and inhaled from electronic cigarettes on the ISMA website.