Smoking

A group of 12 contiguous U.S. states in the Midwest and South has the highest rate of adult tobacco use in the nation. If taken as a country, this group would rank among those with the highest smoking rates in the world.

This is according to a report released by Truth Initiative last week. Indiana is one of these twelve states, along with neighboring Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Youth Survey Finds Vaping, Tobacco And Drug Use Down

Aug 25, 2017

An annual survey of Indiana teens finds the use of tobacco, vapor, alcohol and drug use on the decline.

This year the 27th Youth Survey from the Indiana University’s Indiana Prevention Resource Center analyzed answers from more than 126,000 Hoosier students – sixth to 12th grade – at 409 schools around the state. The questions cover issues ranging from use of various drugs to gambling and mental health.

The study first included the use of electronic vaping products two years ago and has found a steady decrease in the number of teen’s vaping every year.

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Emily Forman / WFYI

One hot afternoon in June, in the parking lot of a dollar store in the near east side of Indianapolis, Kelly Davila sets a timer on her phone. It takes two minutes to walk from the Family Dollar store to a gas station convenience store - both places sell cigarettes. 

The latest assessment from the American Cancer Society details where Indiana lags and what progress it’s made in cancer fighting policies. The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network annual progress report evaluates state legislative efforts.

American Cancer Society’s Bryan Hannon says failure to pass a cigarette tax increase last session set Indiana back in reducing smoking rates. But he says a modest funding increase for tobacco control programs was a step in the right direction.

Rally Pushes For Tobacco Tax Increase

Apr 5, 2017

A rally to raise Indiana’s per-pack cigarette tax was held at the Statehouse Wednesday.

The House budget included a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase, to help cover a funding shift to pay for roads. The Senate got rid of that road funding shift and eliminated the tax hike.

Health advocacy groups gathered at the statehouse to urge lawmakers to treat the cigarette tax as a funding issue and a health issue.

Director of tobacco control and advocacy with the American Lung Association, Monique French, says raising the tax is a win-win.

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Lindsay Fox/Flickr

Indiana has one of the nation’s highest smoking rates, but a bill working its way through the legislature aims to change that, in part by raising the cigarette tax by $1.50. The bill cleared the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday.

Nancy Cripe, the coordinator for Tobacco Free Allen County, spent the day before the committee vote at the statehouse to convince lawmakers to vote for the bill, as part of Raise It For Health’s advocacy day. It was easy work.

“Everyone I’ve talked to has been supportive of raising the tobacco tax,” she says. “So I’m excited about that.”

A report released by the U.S. Surgeon General says a growing number young adults are using electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes and many think it’s a public health concern.

The report finds that e-cigarette use has tripled among middle and high school students since 2011. The U.S. Surgeon General calls the rise a public health concern and oncologist and lung expert with Indiana University Health Dr. Nasser Hanna agrees. He says e-cigarettes can contain harmful carcinogens.

Indiana's Oldest Bar Snuffs Out Its Last Cigarette

May 24, 2016
Sarah Fentem / WBAA

People have been drinking—and smoking—inside Lafayette’s Knickerbocker Saloon for almost two centuries. But earlier this spring, the historic bar decided to go smoke-free. However, the transition requires more than posting a “no smoking” sign on the door.

Knickerbocker owner Jeff Hamann says most people just don’t expect or tolerate smoking in public anymore.

And smoking rates have, for the most part, been decreasing in Indiana, dropping 2.5 percent between 2011 and 2014.

Tobacco Free Indiana / Facebook

Health groups are urging the Indiana Senate to set aside its misgivings and endorse a tax hike on cigarettes.

The plan is to spend that money on Medicaid and free up existing money for roads.

But IU Health cardiologist Julie Clary argues the debate over doubling the cigarette tax shouldn't be about taxes at all, but about making it too expensive to be unhealthy.

Monique French leads the group Tobacco Free Indiana and says a cigarette tax increase would push 40,000 Hoosier smokers to quit, and dissuade 50,000 teenagers from starting.

Steve Baker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlebiglens/15609140207

Indiana ranks 41st in the country for overall health, according to the latest America's Health Rankings report from the United Health Foundation.

And it's the third year in a row Indiana has landed in the exact same spot.

United Healthcare of Indiana Medical Director Julie Daftari says even though the state's ranking is unchanged from last year, Indiana still had several victories.

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