Medicaid Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Can Help to Address Health Disparities

November 28, 2022

In 2020, nearly 31  million adults used cigarettes and  a disproportionate number of those  individuals relied  on Medicaid for their health care.[i] Smoking cigarettes significantly increases an individual’s risk to get at least 12 cancers.[ii] The smoking rates for adults on Medicaid is 22.7%, which is more than double the 9.2% of individuals who smoke with private insurance or the overall 12.5% of adults who smoke.[iii] Many individuals on Medicaid have limited incomes and studies have identified that they are unable to pay out-of-pocket for this lifesaving treatment.[iv] Medicaid enrollees are more likely to need cessation support given their economic status and higher likelihood of tobacco use, yet not all Medicaid plans provide a comprehensive tobacco cessation benefit.

 

[i] Cornelius ME, Loretan CG, Wang TW, Jamal A, Homa DM. Tobacco Product Use Among Adults — United States, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:397–405. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7111a1.

[ii]Simmons VN, Piñeiro B, Hooper MW, Gray JE, Brandon TH. Tobacco-Related Health Disparities Across the Cancer Care Continuum. Cancer Control. 2016;23(4):434-441. doi:10.1177/107327481602300415.

[iii] Cornelius ME, Loretan CG, Wang TW, Jamal A, Homa DM. Tobacco Product Use Among Adults — United States, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:397–405. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7111a1.

[iv] Babb S, Malarcher A, Schauer G, Asman K, Jamal A. Quitting Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2000–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;65:1457–1464. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6552a1.