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Few Received Tobacco Cessation Medication Before 2010, Report Shows


Only 7.6 percent of adult tobacco users were prescribed tobacco cessation medication before 2010, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings were part of a report showing that before 2010, almost half of Americans did not receive routine clinical preventive services that can save lives.

The CDC report found that tobacco use screening occurred in 62.7 percent of adult visits to outpatient physician offices between 2005 and 2008. Among patients who were identified as current tobacco users, only 20.9 percent received tobacco cessation counseling, and 7.6 percent received tobacco cessation medication.

“The findings of this report indicate that tens of millions of people in the United States have not been benefiting from key preventive clinical services, and that there are large disparities by demographics, geography, and health care coverage and access in the provision of these services,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden wrote in the report.

The CDC said their report was meant to establish a baseline before implementation of the healthcare reforms in the Affordable Care Act, which requires many health insurance plans to provide preventive services without cost-sharing. Last year, the act provided about 54 million Americans with at least one new free preventive service through private health insurance plans. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the law later this month, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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