I’d like to thank the House of Representatives — especially my representative, Todd Huston — for recently approving a bill to increase the state cigarette tax by $1.
As a parent, my children’s health and safety are my top priorities. And as the tobacco industry continues to find new ways to market its products specifically to kids, it’s incredibly important to me that we keep cigarettes out of their hands.
When cigarettes are cheap and easily accessible, our kids are at a higher risk of losing their lives prematurely to smoking. In fact, 5,700 young people in Indiana will become new daily smokers just this year. That’s a lifetime of addiction for many of them.
I’m encouraged to know that a $1 tax increase would help keep 32,400 Hoosier kids from ever picking up a cigarette. That means fewer cancer diagnoses, fewer heart attacks and strokes and fewer premature deaths due to tobacco use.
I encourage the Senate to follow the House’s example and approve a $1 cigarette tax increase. It’s a proven way to improve health outcomes right now and for generations to come.
Carla Gardner, MSW