Photo: Justin Shearer (Flickr)
The American Cancer Society has found Indiana could save tens of millions of dollars by passing a comprehensive smoking ban. Amanda Estridge with the ACS said that, according to a national report by the organization, if a comprehensive bill was implemented in Indiana the state would save $74 million in costs that currently go to treat lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes—as well as more than $10 million in smoking-related pregnancy costs.
When less comprehensive smoking bans are suggested, Estridge explained, stronger bills tend not to be passed down the line. “When you pass a weak bill out of one chamber and it goes over to the other chamber, we hear those legislators in the other house say, ‘Well, this was good enough in the House of Representatives, so we’ll just use this model.” Estridge said a weaker bill did in fact pass in just one chamber during the most recent session of the Indiana General Assembly: “Amendments were filed by committee members to strengthen the bill, but the chairman refused to hear those amendments.”
70% of Hoosiers support a statewide smoking ban. The American Cancer Society is asking why businesses don’t incorporate that into their business plans.