DeLaney amendment to fund public health with increased cigarette tax revenue blocked

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An amendment to the state biennial budget authored by Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) would have funded local public health efforts with an increase in cigarette tax revenue. It was blocked from debate on the House floor.

DeLaney’s amendment would have increased the cigarette tax by $1 per pack of regular-size cigarettes and increased the electronic cigarette tax rate from 15% to 30%, with all revenue deposited in the state general fund to be used for local public health. 

“For decades, the research has been clear: smoking poses a risk to not just the individual smoking, but to those exposed to second-hand smoke,” DeLaney said following the vote. “What this amendment would have done is add an additional tax to cigarettes and e-cigarettes in order to help fund public health. 

“From high blood pressure to lung cancer, there are myriad health problems directly linked to smoking, and we need to be spending money to treat these issues along with funding programs to promote smoking cessation. Taxes on cigarettes reduce usage. That saves lives and taxpayer dollars.”  

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