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New Report Lists Best and Worst States to Quit Smoking

December 07, 2011


States that require comprehensive insurance coverage for treatments that help smokers quit and adequately fund cessation services such as quit lines are the most “quit friendly” places to live, according to a new report by the American Lung Association.

Critical steps that states can take include providing comprehensive tobacco cessation benefits for Medicaid enrollees and state employees. In addition, states should require private insurers doing business in the state to provide comprehensive tobacco-cessation coverage. The report also urges states to adequately fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Currently only two states, Alaska and North Dakota, fund their prevention programs at the recommended levels – states have slashed total funding by 36 percent over the past four years. The cuts are misguided: A new study shows that tobacco control programs can save states an astonishing 14-20 times more than the cost of implementing them by reducing health care and other costs.

When assessed for comprehensive insurance coverage and adequately funded cessation programs, the American Lung Association determined the most quit-friendly states – and the worst.

The Most Quit-Friendly:

  • Maine
  • North Dakota
  • Delaware
  • Oklahoma
  • Wyoming

The Least Quit-Friendly:

  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Alabama
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey