- Dave Hull
More than 20 percent of Hoosiers light up a cigarette on a regular basis, which leaves the state ranked 42nd in the nation in terms of number of smokers by population, a new Ball State University study shows.
Smoking habits in Indiana cost the state $2.6 million in productivity losses and $2.2 billion in health care costs each year, according to the study.
"We have known for decades that smoking is counterproductive for our health and plays a major role for the spiraling health care costs facing both employees and their employers," said Kerry Anne McGeary, Global Health Institute director, in a Ball State press release. "Smoking kills half of its users. About one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco. This data sends a clear message to smokers that they are involved in a very dangerous habit."
Despite Indiana being one of the top ten smoking states, McGeary said new non-smoking initiatives are working. The new report showed the number of smokers in Indiana had dropped to 21.2 percent in 2010, down almost 8 percent from 1996.
The Indiana General Assembly passed a statewide smoking ban prohibiting smoking inside a business or within 8 feet of a business's entrance. The ban takes affect July 1 and exempts bars and casinos.
"The good news is more and more people are seeking help to quit," McGeary said. "The goal should always be to improve health among smokers. The largest benefit can be achieved by quitting smoking."
Study data – Smokers in Indiana
- 23.3 percent of men
- 19.3 percent of women
- 30.1 percent of African-American adults
- 20.6 percent of white adults
- 16.8 percent of Hispanic adults
- 8 percent of adults 65+
- 22.6 percent of adults 45-64
- 26.1 percent of adults 25-44
- 21.2 percent of adults 18-24
- 39.4 percent of those with income of less than $15,000
- 30.9 percent with income between $15,000-$24,999
- 24.2 percent with income between $25,000-$49,999
- 16.6 percent with income between $50,000-$74,999
- 11.1 percent with income of more than $75,000