Indiana cigarette tax proposal raises questions on spending


FILE – This Aug. 28, 2017 file photo shows cigarettes displayed on a store shelf in New York. With a new law enacted in December 2019, anyone under 21 can no longer legally buy cigarettes, cigars or any other tobacco products in the U.S. It also applies to electronic cigarettes and vaping products that heat a liquid containing nicotine. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — Indiana legislative leaders are willing to increase the state’s cigarette tax but say it must include specifics on how the new revenue will be used to improve public health. Republican House Speaker Todd Huston of Fishers says that while increasing the cigarette tax is likely to lower the rate of smoking, the additional state revenue will eventually fall off. The Times of Northwest Indiana reports the state’s 21.8% adult smoking rate is one of the highest in the nation. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has recommended raising the cigarette tax by $2 per pack to $3.

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