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TFI Praises House Plan to Fund Medicaid with Increased Tobacco Tax
Updated December 23, 2015 4:49 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Officials from Tobacco Free Indiana, a coalition of national and state health organizations, praised a plan released by Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma that would generate revenue to increase Medicaid funding by increasing the tobacco tax.

"We're pleased that House GOP members see the value in raising the tobacco tax," said Monique Hill French, chair of Tobacco Free Indiana. "We look forward to working with Indiana legislators during the upcoming session to work for a one dollar increase in the tax - an increase significant enough to make an impact on the health of Hoosiers. Indiana is one of the 10 unhealthiest states in the nation and much of that is directly related to having one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the nation and an adult smoking rate that is six percent higher than the national average. Higher prices are one of the proven strategies to reduce smoking rates and improve health."
 
Indiana's current tobacco tax of $0.995 per pack is more than a dollar lower than most surrounding states and ranks 34th overall. The tax has remained unchanged since 2007. The adult smoking rate in Indiana is 22.9 percent, which is six percent higher than the national average. Research suggests that a 10 percent increase in tobacco prices leads to as much as a 7 percent decline in adult smoking rates.



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