Recently, the Indiana House of Representatives took a stand for Hoosiers health and approved a bill to increase the state cigarette tax by one dollar.
Much press and discussion currently surrounds heroin, opioid and other illicit drug abuse in Indiana, however we overlook that nicotine has been proven to be a gateway to harder drugs. Youth especially are susceptible and findings show that youth who smoke cigarettes are 32% more likely to use harder drugs at some point in the future. Youth are price sensitive and when cigarettes are cheap and easily accessible that are a higher risk of picking up the habit.
If we look to the future while focusing on the present the cigarette tax increase is a means of prevention not only for tobacco use, but other drugs use down the line. I encourage our Hamilton County Senators to make a lasting impact on the health of Indiana residents by voting to increase the state tobacco tax by one dollar.
George L. Kristo, Executor Director
Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.