(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar comments on the House Republican caucus deciding today to effectively kill House Bill 1380, which would have increased the state’s legal smoking age from 18 to 21:
“The Indiana Chamber is extremely disappointed in the decision by the House Republican caucus to kill legislation aimed at reducing the state’s high smoking rate and the costs associated with that. The true victims, of course, are the individuals who suffer the health consequences due to their smoking addiction.
“There is no valid reason why House Bill 1380 – which passed the House Public Health Committee unanimously Monday – wasn’t allowed to make it to the House floor for a vote, which we believe would have been a favorable one.
“House Bill 1380 was a priority for the Indiana Chamber because smokers cost Hoosier employers over $6 billion per year in additional health care costs, absenteeism and lost productivity.
“We thank Rep. Charlie Brown for his leadership on this issue. It’s too bad House Republicans abruptly decided they didn’t want to vote on this important policy.”
The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”