Tobacco Control Program Funding in Indiana: A Critical Assessment
Indiana’s opioid epidemic has received much needed attention recently. But there is an even bigger public-health crisis that our state has so far failed to address: smoking. In 2016, Indiana had the 10th-highest smoking rate in the U.S. More than one in five Hoosier adults smoke— and we’re paying an enormous price for it.
Each year, more than 11,000 people in Indiana die prematurely from cigarette smoking, and more than 1,400 die prematurely from exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco use also imposes a major financial burden on our entire state. Each year, tobacco costs Indiana $7.6 billion in added health care costs, lost productivity and premature deaths. Of that, $2.2 billion is related to the toll of secondhand smoke.