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States Urged to Fill Gap in Helping Smokers Quit
Date:11/9/2010

es have laws or insurance regulations that require smoking cessation coverage in some or all private insurance plans: Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Six states provide comprehensive smoking cessation coverage for Medicaid recipients: Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Pennsylvania. The report also noted that Kentucky has approved funding to cover smoking cessation treatments for Medicaid recipients, and Hawaii requires managed-care organizations that contract with its Medicaid program to provide near-comprehensive coverage of smoking cessation treatments.

Five states provide comprehensive smoking cessation coverage to all state employees and dependents: Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and North Dakota. Some smoking cessation coverage is provided for state employees in Montana, Nebraska and Florida.

"With federal health care reform taking effect, states have a historic opportunity today to ensure that all smokers have easy access to treatments that can help them quit," Charles D. Connor, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said in the news release.

"This is a win-win formula," he added. "Quitting smoking not only saves smokers' health, it curbs the health costs that drain our state treasuries. Giving all smokers access to a comprehensive cessation benefit now is the right thing to do, and it's the smart thing to do."

More information

The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Lung Association, news release, Nov. 9, 2010


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