The Indiana House Ways & Means Committee released an updated biennial budget last night. The new bill includes a potential increase in the cigarette tax of just 50.5 cents per pack. This would still leave Indiana far below the national average and is not expected to significantly lower smoking rates.
A cigarette tax increase must be significant in order to improve public health. Raise It For Health and our partners remain united in asking the legislature to increase Indiana’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack.
COVID-19 has raised the urgency to address public health in Indiana. Now, fourteen years since the cigarette tax was last raised, an increase of 50.5 cents per pack simply fails to live up to the seriousness of our state’s public health needs.
Just four years ago, the Indiana House of Representatives understood this challenge when they included a $1 cigarette tax increase as part of their budget bill. Since then, Indiana’s health challenges have only grown more critical, so it is disappointing that this year’s House budget has failed to meet the moment.
Have you made your voice heard? We can change Indiana's poor health rankings but we have to urge lawmakers to act boldly! The House is expected to consider amendments to the budget bill next week.
Click below to check your state representative and let them know you support our efforts to lower smoking rates and invest in public health.