Bryan Hannon, Chair, Tobacco Free Indiana & Bryan Mills, Chair, Alliance for a Healthier Indiana             Over the past decade, progress has been made in reducing tobacco use across the country, but progress has stalled in Indiana. That is why we are asking you to join an urgent campaign, Raise It for Health, to move Indiana beyond tobacco, saving lives and strengthening our economy. Over 1 million Hoosiers—1 in 5 adults—smoke. Smoking-related illness kills 11,000 Hoosiers each year. Nearly 6,000 kids start smoking each year. Smoking even intensifies our opioid epidemic—more than 90  percent of Hoosiers fighting an opioid addiction also smoke, and tobacco use makes relapse six times more likely to occur. We must do better for Hoosier health, but also for the Hoosier economy. Did you know that we spend over $7 billion a year in related health costs and productivity losses? Or, that each smoker costs an Indiana business $22 extra each day and nearly $6,000 extra per-year? As chairs of two health-focused coalitions, the Alliance for a Healthier Indiana and Tobacco Free Indiana, we both believe reducing high rates of smoking must be our top health priority. The most effective way to do this is to raise the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per-pack. With a $1.50 tax increase, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network estimate that 50,000 adult Hoosiers would quit and 40,000 youth would never start. Think of the benefits from this one simple policy change. Healthier Hoosiers. Stronger economy. Not to mention, it would raise an estimated $315 million that could be dedicated to improving health all across our great state. It is easy to join this campaign—just sign-up here to get engaged and contact Kent Mitchell, Director of Engagement and Outreach (kmitchell@tobaccofreekids.org), for more information. Thank you for your commitment to Hoosier health!

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