Indiana Failing To Make The Grade On Tobacco Control

The American Lung Association says the state of Indiana needs to do more to enact tobacco control policies.

The “State of Tobacco Control 2015” report evaluates tobacco control policies at the state and federal level. It says Indiana failed to enact any policies that the American Lung Association believes will save lives. That led the state to receive a failing grade in tobacco prevention, taxes, and access to tobacco cessation services.

American Lung Association Spokesperson James Martinez says having a high standard is necessary.

“We don’t think that these standards are excessively high, we really think that these are common sense approaches,” says Martinez.

Indiana is not alone as many states received poor marks in the report. Not a single state received an “A” for providing access to cessation treatments in this year’s report.

The American Lung Association says they are pushing priorities that include raising cigarette taxes, smoke-free air laws, and increasing funding for tobacco control programs.

Martinez says every state is different, though, when it comes to policy needs.

“If Indiana state legislators do those three things, we really expect these grades, not necessarily go up to straight A’s, but really to at least make a difference in tobacco control for the state of Indiana,” says Martinez.

Tobacco use is estimated to cause up to $333-billion in healthcare related costs and lost productivity each year.