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AMA Statement on American Lung Association’s Annual Tobacco Cessation Report

AMA concerned about limited availability of and insurance coverage for tobacco cessation programs

For immediate release:
Dec. 7, 2011

Statement attributable to:
Peter W. Carmel, MD
President, American Medical Association

"To help reduce tobacco use, the American Medical Association encourages physicians to ask their patients about tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke and to refer tobacco users to proven cessation programs. As the American Lung Association report indicates, the limited availability of treatment programs and insurance coverage for these tobacco cessation programs hinders efforts to curb tobacco use.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Helping smokers quit and reducing secondhand smoke exposure saves lives, reduces health problems associated with tobacco-related chronic diseases and cancers, and shrinks tobacco-related health care costs.

Every smoker should have access to the help they need to quit. To achieve this goal, the AMA urges states to extend Medicaid coverage of smoking cessation to all recipients, ensure that each state’s tobacco quit line is fully funded, and promote the benefits of quitting tobacco use through a statewide media campaign."

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Contact:

Shannon O'Brien
American Medical Association
(312) 464-4443
Shannon.Obrien@ama-assn.org

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