A recent Ball State University study found that Indiana had the seventh-highest smoking rate in the country, that 9,700 Hoosiers a year die of complications from tobacco use and that it cost $4.7 billion in annual health care and other economic costs.
Statewide, 24 percent of adults smoked in 2011, according to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Statistics. That number is even higher in Johnson County, where 26.1 percent of adults smoked last year. The national average is 19 percent.
The smoking rate actually increased by about one percentage point in Johnson County compared with the previous year, but that might be due to surveyors calling cellphones for the first time. They now have a more accurate picture of how many smokers the county has, since fewer and fewer people have landlines in their home.