Anti-smoking officials say Indiana funding cuts hurt

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A decision to cut state funding by 38 percent for programs that help people stop smoking and try to prevent others from starting worries those behind the state's tobacco cessation efforts, who say it will mean more smokers and higher health care costs.

Dr. Stephen Jay, a professor of medicine and public health at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, said health experts around the state couldn't believe the Republican-controlled Legislature reached an agreement Thursday to cut spending from $8 million this year to $5 million for fiscal 2014. The Legislature was poised to vote on the budget Friday.

"We are stunned," Jay said. "Because we have excellent data that it's a smart business decision to fund, actually to expand funding, for tobacco control. For every buck you put in, it's $30 to $60-plus that you save. So when you cut funding, what in effect you are doing is assuring that tobacco-use rates are going to go up, exposure to second-hand smoke is going to go up, cost for health-care is going to go up, business costs are going to go up and the people who suffer are taxpayers," he said. "So in effect, this is a tax increase on the state of Indiana."

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and throughout the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A study recently released by Ball State University, Burden of Adult Smoking in Indiana, found that 25.6 percent of the adult population of Indiana, or about 1.25 million, are smokers, giving the state the nation's seventh-highest percentage of smokers. It also found that and 57.5 percent of smokers in Indiana said in 2010 they tried to quit for at least one day.

The report also found that the health care and other economic costs for smokers in Indiana was $4.7 billion in 2010.

Democratic lawmakers said they couldn't understand the cuts.

"I think it's short-sighted," said Sen. Tim Lanane of Anderson. "It was an uphill battle already."

Rep. Greg Porter, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said he expects to see an increase in the numbers of smokers.

"Community-based programs are the best way to address this," he said.

Lindsay Grace, coordinator of Tobacco Free Indiana, said she couldn't believe a program that helps people end an unhealthy habit was targeted for such a severe cut.

"It's not right. The program is already under-funded at $8 million," she said. "They're cutting it for no good reason."

The CDC found that states will collect $25.7 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements, but spend less than 2 percent of the $25.7 billion on tobacco control programs. A report put out in December by the Cancer Society, American Lung Association and other groups ranked Indiana 26th in the nation in spending on programs to help smokers quit and to keep youths from starting, but said the state was spending just 12 percent of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Indiana spend on the effort.

Jay said programs around the state were underfunded at $8 million.

"With a cut from $8 million to $5 million, it's going to effectively kill state-of-the-art anti-tobacco efforts in Indiana," he said. "It's a great tragedy."


  • Free Cell Phones
    Didn't all the smokers get "free" cell phones from the state, too? Even after we heard about it and voiced opposition to it, they still got their phone bills paid on the taxpayer dime!
  • Good Work not supported
    It is sad to see that the tobacco lobby in Indiana has again worked to undermine the work of public health and community organizations dedicated to helping Hoosiers quit smoking and preventing youth from starting to smoke. These dollars go to real programs that really do help the people of Indiana. ACA, ALA and AHA do not get dollars from these funds, they are distributed from the IN State Health Department to local health departments and organizations under a structured and supported program. By cutting dollars, the state is putting less money into the community for cessation and prevention programming resulting in higher smoking rates for both adults and youth in Indiana. It is a shame that the legislature cares more about the money provided by the tobacco lobby than it does us Hooiser citizens.
  • no smoke=clean air
    If no one smoked the air would be cleaner, especially in homes where kids have to breathe the smoke. This would equal fewer trips to the emergency rooms, less money spent overall and healthier children. I'm ALL for no smoking. Tobacco companies are despicable!!!
  • stealth lobbying
    I looked at the links! So that's what these very profitable "non profits" are up to! I am boycotting ALL of them AND the drug company that sells the patches and gums! They spend donations on fat paychecks and lobbying and use a pittance to "find a cure"! They can kiss my butt!
  • Why don't the ACS & ALA fund tobacco control?
    Isn't that why they get tax exempt status? The ACS generated over $9,000,000 in just one year off of quitlines. In fact, in Indiana Alere Wellbeing has the state contract for the quitline. Alere is partners with the ACS and they pay the ACS to use their Quit For Life program so of COURSE the ACS wants more money for tobacco control! It's designed to get more people to call the quitline. Then you've got the American Lung Association getting ObamaCare money to LOBBY FOR anti-tobacco legislation, which is ILLEGAL!!! Of course funding needs to be cut! It's all ABOUT these profitable "non" profits making more money. And where's the "cure in my lifetime"? The ACS has raked in billions since 1946. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:QRFqLOo-ZAUJ:www.lung.org/press-room/press-releases/american-lung-communities.html+federal+grant%2Bamerican+lung+association&hl=en≷=us≺md=imvns&strip=1
    • pharma money
      Since you are promoting the use of Johnson and Johnson patches and gums, Doc, just get the money you need to market their products from them! The government is not supposed to be the marketing arm of pharma. Especially since their products don't work!
    • But you said
      that the statewide smoking ban would cure all this. Now you say you want more money because what you did isn't working? I'm saying this "doctor" and his onions in tobacco control are just a bunch of grant sponging moochers. They don't want people to stop smoking as that would cause THEIR bottom line to crash!
    • Good
      They have not moved the dial on smoking at all.They could have done good work, but they were too interested in handing out contracts to their personal friends..you can see what that got them,Glad their funds are being cut..what a waste.

    Post a comment to this story

    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

    2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

    3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

    4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

    5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.