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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Dependence Treatments in Massachusetts

Friday, April 30, 2010  
Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Dependence Treatments in Massachusetts and Associated Decreases in Smoking Prevalence
Land T, Warner D, Paskowsky M, Cammaerts A, Wetherell L, Kaufmann R, Zhang L, Malarcher A, Pechacek T, Keithly L. PLoS One. 2010;5(3):e9770.

This study examined whether smoking prevalence decreased significantly after the initiation of the Massachusetts health care reform law mandating tobacco cessation coverage (counseling and all FDA-approved medications) for the Massachusetts Medicaid population. Between July 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008 37% of all Massachusetts Medicaid smokers used the new benefit. The study found that the crude smoking rate decreased from 38.3% to 28.3%, a decline of 26%. A demographically adjusted smoking rate, trend analyses, and a logistic regression all produced similar and supportive findings. The authors conclude that a tobacco cessation benefits that includes coverage for medications and behavioral treatments, has few barriers to access, and involves broad promotion can significantly reduce smoking prevalence.

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