Spend $1 on smoking cessation, save $3 in health costs, Massachusetts study finds

Every $1 spent on smoking cessation in Massachusetts, saved $3 in health costs, a study of low-income Bay State residents found. That could bode well for the impact of a new smoking-cessation benefit in Kentucky’s Medicaid program.

Massachusetts added a smoking-cessation benefit to its Medicaid program in 2006 and “let members choose from any FDA-approved options,” reports Martha Bebinger for National Public Radio.
Researchers at George Washington University “found that members who quit saved three times the cost of the program in fewer heart-related hospitalizations after just over one year,” Bebinger reports. “The study does not take into account the benefits of avoiding cancer or other long term smoking related illnesses.”
Kentucky ranked 36th in the nation for tobacco prevention spending. Though it received $389 million in tobacco-settlment funds in fiscal year 2012, and ranks first or second in tobacco use, Kentucky spent just $2.2 million of that on prevention of tobacco use. It recently added a smoking-cessation benefit to Medicaid, a program that is funded mainly by the federal government but administered by individual states.
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