A new statewide order begins Thursday, Aug. 1 which aims to lower Indiana's smoking rate. Now, most people in Indiana won’t need a doctors visit to receive tobacco cessation medications. They can go straight to a pharmacist.
Indiana has one of the highest smoking rates in the country – 1 in 5 Hoosiers smoke cigarettes, according to Centers for Disease Control data.
The new program also allows pregnant women on Medicaid to receive cessation medications for free after being seen by a physician. State Health Commissioner Kristina Box hopes that it will reduce the state’s high maternal and infant mortality rates.
“Smoking increases the risk of preterm birth by two times, and preterm birth is the number one cause of infant mortality in our state,” Box says.
The standing order was signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb last month.
Indiana is the 12th state to implement this kind of policy.