Public health and business groups are calling on the state to raise the cigarette tax by $1.50, saying not only will it reduce smoking, but it will save millions of dollars in lost productivity.

Supporters say the $1.50 increase proposed in HB 1380 would reduce smoking, save lives, strengthen Indiana’s workforce and raise revenue that can be dedicated to urgent public health priorities, including helping more smokers quit and fighting the opioid epidemic.

Lawmakers have been skeptical to increase the tax in the past.

Indy Politics spoke with Bryan Hannon of Tobacco Free Indiana.  You can hear him the Leon-Tailored Audio above.  It runs about seven minutes.