Health, Business Organizations Seek Increase in State Cigarette Tax

Indiana health and business organizations are asking for an increase in the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 a pack. Supporters say it would immediately help 50,000 adults quit smoking and prevent 400,000 kids from ever starting.

Those backing the measure signed a letter to state lawmakers asking for action, according to a release. Members of the Tobacco Free Indiana and the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana signed the letter, as well as representatives from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, among others.

The letter to lawmakers was given to key House and Senate leadership this week before the House Committee on Public Health considered legislation to increase the cigarette tax and raise the legal age of purchase to 21. The committee decided this week to leave the age at 18.

Indiana’s tax rate of 99.5 cents per pack is below the national average and that of nearly all neighboring states.