The Manhattan Tobacco Cessation Program (MTCP) at New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) applauds Medicaid’s expansion of coverage for smoking cessation counseling (SCC) to ALL Medicaid enrollees.
“The expansion of Medicaid coverage to include smoking cessation counseling for adults is a landmark policy change,” said Dr. Donna Shelley, Clinical Associate Professor at NYUCD and NYU School of Medicine. “Now those adults most at risk of tobacco related illness will have access to evidence based care.”
With the changes which went into effect April 1, 2011, each Medicaid enrollee will now be allowed 6 counseling sessions during any 12 continuous months which must be provided on a face-to-face basis.
“Smoking cessation counseling complements the use of prescription and non-prescription smoking cessation products,” said Dr. Shelley. “Studies have shown that success rates are highest when medication is combined with counseling,” she noted.
As of 2009, approximately 18% of New Yorkers were smokers, and of these individuals, 30% were Medicaid recipients. Tobacco use remains higher among certain population groups
Dr. Shelley notes the expansion of Medicaid coverage is important for several reasons, including:
· Tobacco use costs each New York State household an average of $842 annually in local, state and federal taxes to cover tobacco-caused costs to government;
· Tobacco use costs New York State over $8 billion per year in smoking-related healthcare costs.
“Tobacco use and dependence is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in New York,” said Dr. Shelly. “Quitting smoking is the top thing smokers can do for not only their health, but their family’s health as well,” Dr. Shelley added.
Dr. Donna Shelley is available for interviews on and off camera. Producers should call Diana Zraik at 212-992-7014 or email@example.com to schedule an interview.
Editor’s Note: Smokers in New York are encouraged to contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline or their physician to begin smoking cessation treatment. A list of smoking cessation programs in New York City can be found at http://www.nyu.edu/dental/tobacco/resourcesquitsmoking.html. New Yorkers can call the Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487).