State medicaid coverage for tobacco-dependence treatments--United States, 1998 and 2000

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 Nov 9;50(44):979-82.


The Guide to Community Preventive Services recommends reducing the cost of tobacco-dependence treatments because these interventions increase both the use of treatment by smokers during attempts to stop smoking and the number of smokers who actually stop. The Public Health Service (PHS) Clinical Practice Guideline supports insurance coverage for tobacco-dependence treatment (i.e., individual, group, and telephone counseling, and Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmacotherapy. One of the 2010 national health objectives is to provide coverage in the 50 states and District of Columbia (DC) for nicotine-dependence treatment by Medicaid (objective 27.8b). In 2000, approximately 32 million low-income persons in the United States received their health insurance coverage through the federal-state Medicaid program; approximately 11.5 million (36%) of these persons smoked (CDC, unpublished data, 2000). Medicaid recipients have approximately 50% greater smoking prevalence than the overall U.S. population. To assess the amount and type of coverage for tobacco dependence offered by Medicaid, the Center for Health and Public Policy Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted state surveys in 1998 and 2000. In 1998, 24 states and DC offered some coverage for tobacco-dependence treatment; in 2000, nine started offering some coverage. In 1998 and 2000, one state offered coverage for all the counseling and pharmacotherapy treatments recommended by PHS. These findings indicate that states can reduce smoking prevalence among Medicaid recipients by implementing more extensive Medicaid coverage for treatment of tobacco dependence.

MeSH terms

  • Bupropion / economics
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use
  • Counseling / economics
  • Drug Prescriptions / economics
  • Humans
  • Medicaid*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / economics
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / therapeutic use
  • Smoking Cessation / economics*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / economics
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*
  • United States


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Bupropion