The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends states spend more than $73 million annually on tobacco cessation and prevention efforts. A new report finds Indiana spends just more than 10 percent of that amount, less than half the national average.
The state spent just more than $8 million in federal and state funds in 2016 to help people quit smoking or prevent them from starting.
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation’s report points to Indiana’s high smoking rates, 21 percent of Hoosiers. Foundation President and CEO Claire Fiddian Green says that impacts everyone.
“We can’t forget the economic burden that all of us, even the 79 percent of us who don’t smoke, bear through Medicaid and other health care costs,” Fiddian Green says.
An estimated 11,000 Hoosiers die each year from tobacco-related illness.
The report recommends the state spend more than $65 million more a year to help people quit and prevent young people from starting.
Fiddian Green says the state lags behind others in its outreach to young people.
“It’s really important that we increase our outreach to young people,” says Fiddian Green, “I can’t think of one parent who would like their child to turn into a lifelong, adult smoker.”
Indiana has the tenth highest smoking rate in the country.