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Does State Medicaid Coverage of Smoking Cessation Treatments Affect Quitting?

Objective: Cigarette smoking and smokingrelated diseases disproportionately affect lowincome populations. Health insurance coverage of smoking cessation treatments is increasingly used to encourage quitting. We assess the relationship between state Medicaid coverage of smoking cessation treatments and pastyear quitting in adult Medicaid beneficiaries.

Data Sources: 2009–2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS); 2008–2013 indicators of state Medicaid coverage of smoking cessation treatments.

Study Design: A tripledifferencing specification based on differences in Medicaid cessation coverage policies across states as well as withinstate differences between Medicaid beneficiaries and a counterfactual group of lowincome adults not covered by Medicaid.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods: Individuallevel NHIS data with restricted geographical identifiers were merged with stateyear Medicaid coverage indicators.

Principal Findings: Combined coverage of both cessation counseling and medications in state Medicaid programs was associated with increased quitting, with an estimated mean increase in pastyear quitting of 3.0 percentage points in covered Medicaid beneficiaries relative to persons without coverage.

Conclusions: Combined coverage of both smoking cessation counseling and medication by state Medicaid programs could help reduce cigarette smoking among Medicaid beneficiaries.

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