Improving Hoosier's Health One Butt at a Time

Indiana smokers might be facing higher prices for cigarettes. Governor Daniels wants to raise the state tax as part of a plan to improve the overall health of Hoosiers.

There's also a new drug on the market for smokers who need help quitting.

Governor Daniels is proposing a 25 cent increase in the cigarette tax. He wants to use the money to help the uninsured, immunize more children and reduce smoking rates.

If legislators end up embracing the idea, then a pack of cigarettes will pass the $4 mark, and many smokers will be scrambling to find something to help them quit.

Pfizer's new offering is called Chantix. It's designed to activate the nicotine receptors in the brain and reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

The 12-week course of two pills a day can also diminish the sense of satisfaction associated with smoking. But experts warn it is not a magic bullet.

Johnny Kincaid, with Smokefree Communities, says, "When you reach the 12th week, and you go off of that pill, you still have to figure out: 'How am I going to deal with stress without lighting up a cigarette? How do I deal with my day-to-day life without lighting up? How do I replace the habit parts; you know, the hand-to-mouth thing I do a couple hundred times a day if I smoke a pack of cigarettes?' You have to replace all of those things, and so behavioral classes to go along with the medication is actually the most effective thing a person can do."

Chantix offers its own support program online and by phone.

Come January, a couple of smoking cessation programs will be offered locally.

The health department will even give you free nicotine patches.

The success rate for the new drug, Chantix, is 45 percent after 12 weeks which is high, but so is the price. It's about a $100 a month and insurance probably won't cover it.