The American Lung Association Releases its 6th “Helping Smokers Quit: Tobacco Cessation Coverage 2014 Report!”

To encourage and inform the public about tobacco cessation coverage, the American Lung Association released this new report which provides an overview of tobacco cessation coverage in Medicaid, state employee health insurance and other insurance.

By now, most people generally know that tobacco is harmful. However, there are many specific risks that most are uninformed about. Quitting smoking will immediately improve a smoker’s health and lower their risk for deadly diseases like heart disease and lung cancer. Not only does quitting smoking save lives, but it also saves money “from lower healthcare costs, increased workplace productivity and averted premature deaths.” With benefits like these, the American Lung Association stresses the need for policymakers, insurance plans and employers to help smokers quit. Included in this report is a plan of action for policymakers at both the state and federal level.

This report also shows how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act changes requirements for certain insurance plans to provide better tobacco cessation options. Also shown are actions taken at the federal level to promote cessation, such as in the military and the CDC’s “Tips from Former Smokers Campaign” which has created a larger scale of public awareness about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke.

A really great part of this report is that it shows the trends happening in states toward greater tobacco cessation services such as the expansion of Medicaid, limits or prohibitions on tobacco surcharges, and other important findings. It also lists out state specific data on the Medicaid coverage of cessation treatments. View the report here for more information about tobacco cessation throughout the country, including data of your own state!

-Stacy Song

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