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Mass. Anti-Smoking Program Helps Medicaid Recipients Quit

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A Massachusetts smoking-cessation program for participants in the state Medicaid program has helped 33,000 people stop smoking, the Boston Business Journal reported June 1.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) saw a 26-percent decrease in the number of smokers among MassHealth members since 2006, when the smoking-cessation benefit was established.

The benefit provides prescription and over-the-counter medication, and optional face-to-face counseling for those who wish to stop smoking.

“Three out of four smokers say that they want to quit, but the cost of medications that help with cravings is a significant financial barrier to many low-income people,” said MDPH Commissioner John Auerbach. “The success of the MassHealth benefit shows that smokers will utilize such a benefit, and they will quit in large numbers with the appropriate supports.”

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