Reducing Indiana’s smoking rate

Reducing Indiana’s smoking rate

Friday, July 26, 2019

According to America's Health Rankings, in 2018, more than 21% of Hoosiers said they smoked at least one cigarette a day, ranking Indiana as the 7th state in the nation for the highest percentage of adult smokers.

To reduce Indiana's smoking rate, the Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana Family and Social Services Administration recently announced new efforts aimed at helping Hoosiers quit smoking or using tobacco products.

Starting Aug. 1, Hoosiers will be able to purchase tobacco cessation products at Indiana pharmacies without having to obtain an individual prescription. This effort aims to eliminate financial and time barriers for Indiana residents considering quitting smoking.

Indiana will be the 12th state in the nation to have implemented a similar policy or standing order.

Indiana Medicaid will also follow Gov. Holcomb's directive to reimburse health care providers offering tobacco cessation counseling for expectant mothers. Indiana Medicaid will remove co-payments for tobacco cessation products, such Chantix and Zyban, for pregnant women or members up to one year postpartum.

Women who smoke are at least twice as likely to have a preterm birth, which is the leading cause of infant mortality in Indiana. Smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of stillbirth by almost 50% and neonatal death by over 20%.

These initiatives are designed to help reduce Indiana's infant mortality rate, which is the 7th highest in the nation, and ultimately help improve the quality of life for all Hoosiers.

For more information on Indiana's tobacco prevention and cessation accessibility efforts, click here.