While working in the social services agency, and being a part of several community engagement pieces, I have come to learn more about Indiana’s proposed changes related to tobacco.
When reading about said proposals, I am concerned with the type of investment our state is working towards.
If we can focus more on public and behavioral health, I believe we can fix more outlying problems our community members face.
I have learned that our state has one of the worst smoking rates in the nation. We simply cannot ignore this when trying to improve health in Indiana.
In order to be preventative for the next generation and repair damage to our current smoking population, lawmakers need to raise the cigarette tax by $2 per pack.
This can help an estimated 50,000 adults quit smoking and save 24,000 kids from a lifetime of smoking.
Not only does this policy change save the health of a community, it can generate significant revenue to then help with the underfunded health programs.
Indiana lawmakers, I challenge you to see the correlated benefits when considering this tax increase.
Help us prevent more damage to our health and get back on track to being a better, healthier state.
-Brittany Shryock, Madison County grant/outreach coordinator, Firefly Children & Family Alliance, Madison County Family Resource Center