Indiana legislature fails to address tobacco crisis

INDIANAPOLIS – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is disappointed to see the Indiana legislature adjourning without raising Indiana’s cigarette tax as health and business leaders have long urged.

Lawmakers had an opportunity to prioritize the health of Hoosiers by raising the state’s low cigarette tax rate by $2.00 per pack this session, which would have helped more than 100,000 Hoosiers quit smoking or never start.. More than 30% of cancer deaths in Indiana are attributed to smoking.  

Lawmakers did pass an e-cigarette tax this session, but the failure to act simultaneously on the state’s cigarette tax and the tax on all other tobacco products means many Hoosiers won’t get the nudge they need to become tobacco-free.

Bryan Hannon, government relations director for ACS CAN

“We will lose more than 11,000 Hoosier lives to tobacco use this year, so it is disappointing that lawmakers once again passed up the opportunity to tackle Indiana’s tobacco crisis,” said Bryan Hannon, government relations director for ACS CAN. “The smoking-related challenges we face in Indiana are simply too big to ignore, so we are committed to seeing this across the finish line in the years ahead.”

ACS CAN thanks lawmakers for preserving funding for the state’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program. This program helps more than 4,000 low-income women each year by providing access to mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. The impacts of COVID-19 make this program more critical than ever. By increasing access to early detection services, the state can reduce the number of Indiana residents who will be diagnosed with late-stage cancers that are more difficult to treat.

About ACS CAN at 20  – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting