Smoking is not a cheap habit-regardless of whether a person is a smoker or not. In Boone County, for example, the 92 babies born with smoking-related complications cost the county approximately $1,355 each. The 15% of pregnant moms in Boone County that smoke put their babies at higher risk of SIDS, low birth weight, asthma, and reduced lung function. Smoking-related complications can leave a lasting financial and health burden on children for the rest of their lives.
Indiana taxpayers, smokers and nonsmokers alike, hand over approximately $920 per household in taxes for smoking-related state and federal government expenditures. Smoking costs Hoosiers approximately $2.93 billion in healthcare costs alone- that’s $15.90 taxpayers spend for every pack of cigarettes sold. Overall, Hoosiers pay $6.1 billion every year to cover the cost of smoking.
One of the most effective ways to cut back on smoking’s heavy financial and health burden is to increase Indiana’s cigarette tax. House Bill 1001 has an amendment that seeks to increase Indiana’s current tax of $0.99 to an additional $1, which would save Indiana thousands of lives in the long term. You can find your local legislator today and give them a call to voice your support.