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Quitting Smoking Saves Lives and Money: New American Lung Association Report Finds Most States Failing to Adequately Protect Residents and Their Bottom Line
Date:11/13/2008

-Treatments and Services Provided by Each State to Help Smokers Quit Now Available at http://www.lungusa.org-

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If you smoke, quitting can save you money as well as your life. However, where you live can help or hurt your ability to quit. According to a new report, Helping Smokers Quit: State Cessation Coverage, released today by the American Lung Association, states are missing a big opportunity to help smokers quit and to save themselves money by covering comprehensive tobacco treatments.

"Millions of dollars and countless lives could be saved each year if more smokers quit," said Bernadette Toomey, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Smoking's devastating toll in death and suffering is well known. Nearly every family has been touched by tobacco-related illness. But what's less known is the tremendous burden that treating these ailments places on our economy. States cannot continue to ignore this unfortunate reality."

Recent studies estimate that lifetime savings in tobacco-related health expenditures for every former smoker total more than $20,000. Furthermore, employers and insurance plans could save up to $210 per year for every covered smoker who quits. For each pregnant woman who quits smoking, there is a potential cost savings to the U.S. health care system of $881 with each premature birth prevented.

"One adult in five smokes; that's more than 43 million Americans," said Toomey. "Helping smokers quit benefits us all - smokers and nonsmokers alike. Unfortunately, many smokers lack access to the tools needed to help them succeed. Providing these treatments and tools as a fully-covered, comprehensive insurance benefit increases the willingness of smokers to try to quit and improves their likelihood of success."

The American Lung Association calls upon each state to provide all Medicaid recipients and state e
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SOURCE American Lung Association
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