This week, Hoosier lawmakers adjourned the 2019 regular session without sending a $2 cigarette tax increase to Governor Holcomb’s desk. In response, the Raise it for Health Coalition released the following statement:
For the fourth straight year, lawmakers balked at raising Indiana’s cigarette tax rate. At a time when Indiana’s smoking rates are getting worse and our heath rankings are falling, lawmakers sent a clear message that Hoosier health is simply not a priority.
The solution—to raise the cigarette tax by $2 per pack and invest the revenue in underfunded health programs—was supported by 70 percent of Hoosier voters and hundreds of health and business groups. Still, lawmakers failed to act.
After years of debate and delay, it is unclear when statehouse leaders will acknowledge that Indiana’s health issues are urgent and are more important than political deliberations or budget calculations. Until they do, every Hoosier—from our smallest children to our biggest businesses—will bear the burden of their inaction.
The Raise it for Health campaign brings together health and business leaders in Indiana to support a cigarette tax increase of $2 per pack to reduce smoking, save lives, strengthen our workforce and raise revenue that can be dedicated to urgent public health priorities, including helping more smokers quit, protecting youth from ever starting to smoke, and addressing the opioid epidemic. More information can at: www.raiseitforhealthin.com