MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — Indiana legislative leaders are prepared to extend the state’s cigarette tax however say any measure should embrace specifics on how the brand new income might be used to enhance public well being.

Indiana’s 21.8% grownup smoking price is without doubt one of the highest within the nation, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has really useful elevating the cigarette tax by $2 per pack to $3.

“The pandemic has taught us that poor high quality of well being, sadly, has dire penalties, and we have to determine methods to enhance Hoosier well being,” mentioned Home Speaker Todd Huston, a Republican of Fishers.

Nonetheless, Huston mentioned his expertise as the previous chairman of the budget-writing Home Methods and Means Committee has taught him that whereas growing the cigarette tax is more likely to lower smoking charges, it additionally will make the extra state income much less dependable.

“The entire genesis of accelerating the cigarette tax is it’s the one factor, greater than cessation packages and different issues, that’s been proven to cut back smoking,” Huston mentioned. “So actually the day you implement a brand new tax price is essentially the most amount of cash you’re going to gather if the coverage is profitable.”

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