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

For immediate release:
Dec. 3, 2012

Statement attributable to:
Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD
President, American Medical Association

"Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States with more than 440,000 tobacco-related deaths annually, and a new report shows that states have an opportunity to help reduce these adverse health outcomes by ensuring that both state health insurance exchanges and Medicaid include comprehensive tobacco cessation benefits.

To help eliminate 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. The report shows that cessation programs are not always included in a state's Medicaid benefits, and the AMA urges states to extend Medicaid coverage of smoking cessation to all recipients. Every single smoker in America, regardless of their state of residence or economic status, should have access to the help they need to quit.

The AMA strongly supports graphic warning labels on cigarettes, comprehensive smoke-free laws, efforts to prevent youth smoking and adequate funding of evidence-based tobacco prevention and treatment programs."

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Shannon (O'Brien) Breymaier
American Medical Association


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