Indiana Smokers Targeted by Coalition
The crackdown on smoking has been going on for a long time. It has not been allowed on planes for many years. It is also banned in most public buildings. However, a coalition in Indiana called the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana is not satisfied with these restrictions. They want to raise the age for the legal purchasing of tobacco to 21. They also want to raise the tobacco tax to $2.50 for each pack of cigarettes. The tobacco tax in Indiana is currently 99 cents. They feel that the amount of new smokers will decrease dramatically in Indiana if these laws are implemented.
There is another thing that the coalition is trying to do that is generating some negative publicity. They want a complete repeal of the Smoker’s Bill of Rights. This legislation was successfully passed in 1991. It gives certain legal rights to employees who have a smoking habit. For example, smokers are allowed to take regular breaks to smoke. A repeal of this legislation would make it much more difficult for smokers in Indiana to function at their place of work. Obviously, smokers in the state have vowed to fight a repeal of this law.
Smoking is a huge problem in Indiana. Roughly $6 billion is spent every year in the state for healthcare to treat smokers that have become sick. There is also a massive loss in productivity when these people are not able to do their jobs because of illnesses that are in some way related to smoking.