Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Indiana. More than one million Hoosiers smoke cigarettes, making Indiana's smoking rate one of the highest in the nation. Each year 11,100 Hoosiers die from a tobacco-related illness. Properly funding state tobacco control programs is a proven way to reduce smoking rates.
Increase funding for Indiana's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program. Indiana's Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Program has successfully reduced youth smoking and helped smokers quit across the state, but the program remains underfunded. The program has endured severe budget cuts in recent years, limiting our potential to support adults who want to quit smoking and educating youth about the dangers of tobacco use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Indiana invest more than $70 million per year in prevention and cessation, but the Indiana General Assembly currently funds these programs at $5 million per year. Policymakers should prioritize prevention and cessation funding and significantly increase annual appropriations to better align with CDC recommendations.