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Health coalition renews push for Indiana cigarette tax hike

Health coalition renews push for Indiana cigarette tax hike
Posted at 6:37 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 18:37:35-05

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A coalition of health and business groups is renewing its push for Indiana lawmakers to increase the state’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack.

The Raise It for Health Coalition held a rally last week at the Statehouse and 14 other events around the state to launch its latest campaign for the tax hike.

READ | Opioids, tobacco killed 14,000 Hoosiers in 2017

Indiana has one of the nation’s highest smoking rates, with 1 million Hoosiers smoking every day, but its 99.5 cents a pack cigarette tax is the nation’s 14th-lowest.

The coalition argues that raising that tax is the simplest and most effective way to reduce smoking rates and improve Indiana’s health.

The group says that a $2-per-pack increase would raise more than $350 million to invest in Indiana’s workforce, improve its business climate and reduce tobacco use.

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