Indiana health officials say cigarette sales have dropped by nearly 18 percent across the state since last year's 44-cent-per-pack tax increase.
The new tax went into effect last July 1st, pushing the total tax on a pack of cigarettes to nearly one dollar. In the first nine months after the tax was raised there were 376 million packs sold in Indiana. That's compared to about 457 million packs sold from July 2006 to March 2007.
More than 6,500 people have called the Indiana Tobacco Quitline for help since the higher cigarette tax went into effect.
Smoking rates in Indiana have declined in recent years, going from 27 percent of the adult population in 2005 to 24 percent in 2007.
State health officials say they are pushing for an even greater decrease. Indiana remains in the top 10 states in number of total smokers.