Photo: Daniel Jordahl (Flickr)
The American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids are among those calling on Indiana to spend more on tobacco prevention programs. Indiana ranks 26th in the country in tobacco prevention funding.
Indiana this year spent $9.3 million on tobacco prevention programs, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend spending more than eight times that much. The state’s prevention funding has dropped nearly $5 million since 2008.
Tobacco-Free Kids Vice President Danny McGoldrick says providing resources to community organizations for outreach, effective media campaigns and giving smokers the help they need to quit all play significant roles in reducing smoking rates, which end up saving states money in health care costs.
“We know the solution, based on the science,” McGoldrick says. “We have the resources. We know the voters want to do it. We just need the political will in Indiana and around the country to do the right thing and the smart thing with these resources we have.”
Former Indiana House Health Committee chairman and current Ways and Mean head Tim Brown says prevention programs are just one part of the solution.
“As far as the cigarette tax, the prevention programs and then also some of the medical facts related to that, and alternative treatments other than nicotine and smoking products,” he says.
Brown says, heading into a budget session, funding the sorts of programs McGoldrick is pushing boils down to determining priorities, and he has not made those determinations yet.