Poll: Hoosiers support higher cigarette tax, smoking age

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A new poll of Hoosier voters conducted by the Indiana Chamber shows strong support for two points lawmakers will be focusing on this legislative session.

According to the poll, Hoosiers want to see an increase to the cigarette tax and smoking age. In addition, voters want to see a hate crimes law put on the books, something lawmakers have been unable to pass for years.

The Indiana Chamber says these two topics are leading priorities they are advocating for.

They want to see the cigarette tax increased by $2 per pack and the legal smoking age raised to 21. Their poll shows 62% support for the tax increase and 65% support for raising the smoking age.

The Indiana Chamber says this month’s 2018 America’s Health Rankings puts Indiana’s smoking rate at 21.8% (up from 21.1%), ranking us 44th out of the 50 states.

“Our health metrics place Indiana near the bottom of the 50 states. This results in tragic individual and family outcomes, as well as proving costly to communities and businesses ($7.2 billion annually in increased health care costs and lost productivity). We cannot truly be among the very best states to work and live without dramatic improvement in these areas,” offers Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

On bias crime legislation, the poll showed 74% approval, with 63% of Republicans, 75% of Independents and 84% of Democrats showing support.

The Indiana Chamber says a third issue they advocate for is expanding state-funded preschool for low-income families. Their poll shows 86% of Hoosiers support more investment in preschool.

The Indiana Chamber commissioned its poll of 600 registered voters in December.

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