- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Public health advocates say they haven’t given up on efforts to get Indiana lawmakers to increase the state’s cigarette tax.

Raise It for Health campaign chairwoman Monique French said Wednesday that it’s one of the biggest steps lawmakers can take to improve the state’s health.

But a proposal to increase the state’s 99-cent-per-pack tax by $1 has run into stiff opposition.

Gov. Eric Holcomb doesn’t support it. Senate Republican budget writer Luke Kenley didn’t include it, even though the House budget proposal does.

Indiana has one of the country’s highest smoking rates, and advocates say research shows hiking the tax would lead to a drop in smoking.

French says public opinion research shows broad support for a cigarette tax increase.

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