The Tobacco Epidemic in Indiana and Marion County
In 2016, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation released a report showing that tobacco use has resulted in a major health and economic crisis in Indiana. Smoking claims thousands of Hoosier lives and costs Indiana billions of dollars each year. Two years later, the crisis continues. Indiana has some of the highest tobacco use in the U.S. With a statewide adult smoking rate of 21.1 percent, Indiana places among the ten states with the highest smoking rates nationwide. Similarly, Indiana’s youth smoking rates are substantially higher than the national averages for 8th, 10th and 12th graders, and the use of electronic cigarettes has increased significantly among Hoosier youth since 2016. In Marion County, the adult smoking rate stands at 21 percent, meaning Indianapolis is tied for last place among the 30 largest U.S. cities. The tobacco epidemic in Indianapolis and around the state puts at risk the fabric of our communities, threatening our health, quality of life and economic prosperity.