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Majority of Hoosiers support increased cigarette tax, survey shows

Posted at 1:53 PM, Jan 09, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — Most Hoosiers support an increase in the cigarette tax to pay for tobacco prevention programs, according to a new survey released Wednesday morning.

According to the survey, 70 percent of respondents favor a cigarette tax increase of $2 per pack with a portion of the revenue going to tobacco prevention programs. Of the respondents, 51 percent strongly favor it, and 29 percent oppose it.

“The message is pretty clear,” Bryan Hannon, chair of Tobacco Free Indiana and Raise it for Health, said. “What’s the deal? Let’s get this done in 2019. The time is right. Hoosiers support it.”

The survey also showed that voters do not see the increase as a traditional tax, instead as a user fee for cigarettes, since it is only paid for by those who smoke.

According to the survey, more Democrats support a tax increase on cigarettes than Republicans. The survey showed that 80 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans support it.

The survey was conducted with 600 voters by Bellwether Research. It has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Just six states have a higher smoking rate than Indiana — West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi.

A bill that would raise the cigarette tax in Indiana has not been officially introduced yet, but it is expected in the next few days.

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