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New policies poised to help smokers quit

Monday, December 10, 2012

The U.S. is at a tipping point when it comes to policies that help smokers quit, according to a recent report by the American Lung Association.

"Over the next year, key decisions will be made by the federal government and states about whether or not they will help save lives, prevent disease and reduce health costs," said Micki Sandquist, Executive Director of ALA Iowa. "We know that the vast majority of smokers want to quit, but the complex web of state and federal coverage for effective quit smoking programs and treatments prevents too many from getting the help they need. States and federal government can reduce the enormous health burdern of tobacco use by providing access to these proven interventions."

The ALA report shows that the federal government has missed key opportunities to improve access to quit smoking medications and counseling. The record for the states is mixed, but far too many fail to ensure coverage.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

The economic costs of its effects total $193 billion annually