Tackling Tobacco in Indiana

Alliance for a Healthier Indiana works to reduce smoking and its implications in Indiana

We all pay for smoking. The health care cost associated with smoking amounts to $982 in taxes per Indiana household. It costs Indiana $6 billion annually, taking into account health care costs, as well as lost productivity due to smoking-related diseases and smoking on the job. Not to mention the ultimate price of lives lost, as tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable death in Indiana.

After its inception last year, the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana’s first priority in improving the health of Hoosiers was to substantially reduce tobacco usage in Indiana.

“The Alliance moved full force into the legislative session this year to make our collective voice heard,” said Doug Leonard, IHA president. “We’ve been working with legislators to enact our plan to reduce tobacco use and save lives. Many smokers want to quit, and we want to help them.”

We are already making progress. Earlier this month, the Alliance partnered with Raise It for Health to host community town hall breakfasts across the state to provide members of the public an opportunity to network with community leaders and hear about ways we can all work together to improve Indiana’s poor health rankings.

On Feb. 1, the Alliance joined Raise It for Health in its Advocacy Day at the Indiana Statehouse, which included a Tobacco Tax Rally. This was a great opportunity for partner organizations to speak to legislators about the need to reduce tobacco use statewide. Advocacy Day speakers addressed raising Indiana’s tobacco tax and restoring funding for cessation and prevention. In addition, Alliance and Raise It for Health leaders testified in support of tobacco legislation before the Indiana General Assembly.

The Alliance continues to make our voice heard through a variety of platforms including social media. Each week the Alliance provides sample posts to partners subscribed to the Alliance newsletter to help them engage in our social media efforts. Be sure to subscribe at HealthierIndiana.org to receive these updates.

In addition, the Alliance recently hosted a hospital activation webinar to educate members on the efforts of the Alliance and how they can get involved. Members who would like to be more active with the coalition can contact the Alliance at info@healthierindiana.org.

ENGAGE WITH THE ALLIANCE

We need your support to pass tobacco provisions this session of the Indiana General Assembly. With your advocacy, together we can make a significant difference in the health of communities across the state. Here’s what you can do:

1. Contact your legislators to tell them that you support tobacco provisions being considered this session to create a Healthier Indiana.

2. “Like” the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana on Facebook, and share your support on social media. Use #INLegis and #HealthierIndiana, and be sure to tag lawmakers.

3. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to describe how tobacco use negatively impacts the health, quality of life and economic development of Hoosier communities.

The Alliance has developed a free Tobacco Toolkit with the facts, templates and tips you need to take action. Contact us at info@healthierindiana.org to get your toolkit.

Join us in the fight to make Indiana a healthier place to live and work at HealthierIndiana.org and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana is a group of health care professionals, advocates, and community and business leaders across the state who are committed to improving the health of Indiana.