Letter: Raise it for health

Editor,

Indiana is consistently ranked near the bottom of the 50 states for health, a statistic made worse because too many Hoosiers smoke. The Institute of Medicine says the most reliable method to reduce tobacco use is to increase the price of tobacco products, thus encouraging cessation and reducing the number of kids who start smoking.

If legislators choose to raise the cigarette tax by just $1 instead of $1.50, more than 16,000 Hoosier kids will become smokers, and 4,500 moms and babies will be impacted by smoking over the next five years. Since 95 percent of opioid addicts are also addicted smokers, we set more people on the path to serious drug addiction. We don’t want our friends and neighbors to be shortchanged.

Too many Hoosiers remain addicted to tobacco and other substances, and all of us pay the price. Please ask your legislators to pass the original request of $1.50 increase to the cigarette tax to encourage more smokers to quit and to prevent children from ever starting to smoke.

The American Heart Association says it is time to increase the cigarette tax. Let’s Raise It For Health.

Carol Dixon, Cicero

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