Brothers and Sisters,

I greet you warmly in Christ in the midst of this cold winter weather.

I write in regards to a bill that is actively being debated in the Indiana State House and among Senate Leaders. It has been proposed to include a $2/pack cigarette tax increase in the state budget. I am fully in support of its passage, as revenues would fund important causes like tobacco prevention and addiction services in addition to reducing the number of cigarettes consumed in Indiana.

This action is in line with our Social Principles as we seek to care and minister throughout the world John Wesley often referred to as “our parish.” The Book of Discipline says in the Book of Resolutions: Tobacco Marketing, “The Bible reminds us that our bodies are “temples of the Holy Spirit” and since we are created in God’s own image, we are then called by God to take care of our bodies in God’s image.” As we care for the health and wellbeing of all the people in our midst, The United Methodist Church discourages all persons, particularly children, youths and young adults, from using any form of tobacco.

If you feel moved to bring awareness, would you consider contacting your state representatives and senators and encouraging them to support this cause? (To find out who your local legislator is and how to contact them, click here.)

There is overwhelming evidence linking cigarette smoking with lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, emphysema, and related illnesses. Let’s work toward making Indiana a healthier state by supporting this bill.

Be encouraged,
Bishop Julius C. Trimble