Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress – Statewide Bill Tracker

2/12/2017 – HB 1578 stripped of MLSA provision, kills Tobacco 21. Bill continues on as amended to repeal employment protections for individuals who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products.
1/23/2017 – HB 1578 filed by Rep. Cindy Kirchofer (R), referred to House Committee on Public Health. Includes provisions on raising the minimum legal sales age (MLSA) to 21 and repeals employment protections for individuals who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products.


Indiana has a higher than national average rate of high school smoking, and an above average rate of adult smoking as well. An estimated 151,000 children now under the age of 18 will eventually die prematurely due to smoking, with 4,100 children becoming daily smokers each year. The result is an annual health care cost of $2.93 billion that is directly caused by smoking, and another $3.17 billion in lost productivity. The state spends only 9.9% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, and recently cut funding further, from 11.1%. Unfortunately, due to preemption language in the state laws, local governments are prohibited from setting their own sales age for tobacco. In order to pursue Tobacco 21 locally in Indiana this language would need to be altered or removed. Statewide efforts can still benefit from local efforts; start a local T21 coalition, testify in support of a statewide bill, and petition your City Council or County Commissioners to sign resolutions in support of a statewide effort. For more information you may contact:

Eric Brodell
Western Region Director
Tobacco 21

Kevin O’Flaherty
Played a direct role in shaping NYC’s historic T21 legislation.
Director Northeastern Region
Tobacco Free Kids

or visit our sources:

Tobacco Free Kids Indiana: “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

American Lung Association State Report Card: “The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.

SLATI State Information Indiana: “SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.”

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

1) Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
2) Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
3) Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
4) Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

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