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Indiana Tobacco Use Higher Than National Average

A new report shows that one in 10 Hoosier children will die prematurely under the state’s current smoking rate.

The report, The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress, was released last week by the Office of the Surgeon General. Indiana Lung Association spokesperson Lindesay Grace says tobacco control is based on four areas, and Indiana doesn’t do well in any of them.

“We spend very little money compared with what the CDC recommends, who helps smokers from ever starting to that prevention services," Grace says, "we have a very weak, very poor state wide smoke free law that protects non-smokers and workers from the danger of second hand smoke.”

Grace says the low cigarette tax and the lack of quitting services also contribute to the high tobacco use.

Miranda Spitznagle is Director of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation at the Indiana State Department of Health, she says the goal of lower tobacco use should not only depend on government.

“It got to be the role of business leaders and health care, state, communities, education, schools," Spitznagle says. "There’s all factors of the society, and everyone has the role in partnering at the community level within their sphere to lower tobacco use rates.”

The average smoking rate for the country is 19.6 percent, while Indiana's is 24 percent.

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