Medicaid Tobacco Cessation: Big Gaps Remain in Efforts to Get Smokers to Quit

February 4th, 2016

It is well established the Medicaid enrollees use tobacco at approximately twice the rate of the general population. While all state Medicaid programs cover cessation benefits to some extent, this article compares the effectiveness of these state programs in promoting smoking cessation. Overall, the study indicates that about 10 percent of current smokers received cessation medications in 2013 and the rates vary widely between states. In general, higher smoking rates and lower utilization of cessation programs were found in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility as a result of the ACA . The article also reports that in 2013 Medicaid spent $103 million on cessation medications-less than 0.25 percent of the estimated cost to Medicaid of smoking-related diseases.

The full citation: Leighton Ku, Brian K. Bruen, Erika Steinmetz, and Tyler Bysshe. Medicaid Tobacco Cessation: Big Gaps Remain In Efforts To Get Smokers To Quit. Health Affairs January 2016 35:62-70.
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A Project of the Governor's Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine.
Funded wholly or in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.