A number of Indiana business, community and public health groups are calling for an increase in the state tax on cigarettes as well as funding for tobacco cessation programs.

Members of the Raise It For Health  campaign want Indiana lawmakers to increase the tax on cigarettes to $1.50 per pack, saying it will help curb youth smoking as well as bring down health care costs for the state.   They also want the state restore millions in funding for tobacco cessation programs which has waned over the years.

Indy Politics spoke to local business man John Thompson about the proposal.

You can hear him the in Leon-Tailored Audio above, it runs about five minutes.

Organizations belonging to the Raise It For Health campaign include the American Heart Association, Indiana Chamber, Indiana Hospital Association, IU Health, Community Hospitals, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Tobacco Free Kids,  Tobacco Free Indiana, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.