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A Week After Death Of Smoking Ban, Indiana Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Tobacco Lawsuit

Last updated on Thursday, April 14, 2011

(UNDATED) - A week after the apparent demise of a statewide smoking ban, Indiana’s official stop-smoking agency is accentuating the positive in a celebration of its 10th anniversary.

Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, created with money from the settlement of the multi-state tobacco lawsuit, sealed a time capsule Wednesday containing a snapshot of Hoosiers' nicotine habits in 2011, including advertising materials and products ITPC says target the teenage market, such as nicotine toothpicks and disposable tobacco tablets and strips.

Lindsay Grace with Smoke Free Indy says the time capsule also includes statistics on how far the 10-year effort has come in reducing Indiana smoking rates.

The reduction is just a few percentage points, and still leaves Indiana with higher smoking rates than most of the country.

But Grace says it still represents 208,000 fewer smokers, and says that translates into three-billion dollars in health savings.

The time capsule will reside at the Ruth Lilly Health Education Center in Indianapolis, and will be opened in another 10 years.

Grace won't speculate what smoking rates will be by then; she acknowledges those numbers have flattened out after initial improvements.

But she says she hopes the children of 2021 will be amazed to see tobacco spinoff products that have long since been yanked from the market.

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