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Massachusetts' 'Model' Tobacco Cessation Benefit Spurs Unprecedented Drop in Smoking Rates, Heart Attacks, Asthma, and Birth Complications
Date:11/18/2009

is associated with $4.3 billion in excess health care costs in Massachusetts each year.

"These early findings offer great promise," said Nancy Brown, National CEO of the American Heart Association. "Heart attack hospitalizations are expensive and take a financial and emotional toll on patients and their families."

"Massachusetts is leading the way in demonstrating that insurance coverage for smoking cessation quickly improves health and saves lives, and no doubt reduces health care costs as well," said Mathew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "This evidence couldn't be more timely and underscores why it is critical that health reform legislation approved by Congress invest in prevention and require cessation coverage, including for everyone in Medicaid. It is also critical that Massachusetts continue to invest in tobacco prevention and cessation programs."

In Massachusetts, 77% of adult cigarette smokers want to quit, 60% of smokers have tried to quit within the past year, and 44% report that they plan to quit in the next 30 days.

"By providing MassHealth members with barrier-free access to cessation services we are beginning to see cost savings from a decrease in spending for tobacco related illnesses," said Terry Doughtery, EOHHS Assistant Secretary for Administration and Operations and Interim Director of the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid. "Smoking rates among this population had been stagnant for the past decade. Reducing smoking rates among our members was our primary goal, and after only 2.5 years of providing our members with cessation services, the smoking rate has declined by nearly 26 percent."

SOURCE Partnership for Prevention


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SOURCE Partnership for Prevention
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