On Aug. 1, Indiana began a new state policy to help people stop smoking. Now, most Hoosiers can now get smoking cessation medications straight from a pharmacist. State leaders hope this will combat Indiana's high smoking rate.
It's early morning, and Lindsey Angelotti is counting pills in her pharmacy, getting ready to open. She owns the pharmacy in Sheridan, Indiana – a town in northernmost Hamilton County.
She is excited about the new state policy – and its possible impact in her town. She says Sheridan has one of the highest smoking rates she’s seen. And that leads to serious lung problems, including those known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD.
"We do dispense a lot of inhalers, have a lot of asthma, COPD issues," Angelotti says. "So definitely smoking cessation is a need in our community."
Angelotti is optimistic about being able to connect with her patients, many she already has a relationship with.
"I think independent pharmacists are going to be a large component of this," Angelotti says.
The new program also allows pregnant women on Medicaid to receive cessation medications for free after being seen by a physician.
One in five Hoosiers smokes – that’s among the highest rates in the country.