One of the most well understood public health problems in the world is tobacco use, yet, unbelievably, some of our policy makers are choosing to ignore the data. In Indiana alone, tobacco kills 9,700 people each year and costs the state $2.08 billion annually. This does not have to be.
When proper tobacco control policies are in place, we see the toll of tobacco decrease.
In California, for example, every dollar invested in tobacco programs saved the state $56 in health care costs.
In Indiana when we increased our expenditure in tobacco programs in 2001, we saw a dramatic dip in our smoking rate from 27 percent to 21 percent by 2010.
It’s been shown time and again, both here at home and around the country, that tobacco control programs are a great investment. They save lives and money.
Why then did lawmakers propose to slash the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission’s budget in half to $4.05 million? It makes no sense.
- Jeremy Getz, Valparaiso