Some States Make Stopping Smoking Easier Than
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The best states for
smokers trying to kick the habit are Maine and North Dakota, while
the least quit-friendly states are Georgia and Louisiana, according
to a report released Wednesday.
The annual American Lung Association report examines
quit-smoking programs and treatments offered in each state and by
the federal government.
Providing smokers with easy access to smoking cessation
counseling and medications through health insurance plans and
telephone quit-lines is essential for success. While some states
and the federal government have taken important steps in helping
smokers quit, significant gaps persist, according to the
"Progress in helping smokers quit brings real results: It saves lives and saves money," American Lung Association President and CEO Charles Connor said in an association news release.
The five most quit-friendly states are Maine, North Dakota,
Delaware, Oklahoma and Wyoming. The five least quit-friendly states
are Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Maryland and New Jersey, according
to the report.
The investigators found access to quit-smoking treatments and
services varied throughout the United States.
"The level and type of assistance available to smokers is inconsistent state-to-state, insurance plan-to-insurance plan, and smoker-to-smoker," Connor said in the news release. "By not helping all smokers, too many people are missing out on longer, happier, more productive lives."
The report called for a comprehensive approach that includes
unrestricted access to the seven medications and three types of
counseling recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service as proven
ways to help smokers quit.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the
United States, with 443,000 deaths each year from tobacco-related
illnesses and secondhand smoke exposure. The economic costs of
tobacco are $193 billion a year, according to the American Lung
The American Cancer Society offers a
guide to quitting smoking.
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