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State Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco—Dependence Treatments—United States, 1994–2001

May 30, 2003 / Vol. 52 / No. 21

The Friday, May 30, 2003, issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) contains a notice to readers announcing World No Tobacco Day to be celebrated on May 31, 2003. A report titled “State Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco–Dependence Treatments—United States, 1996–2001,” will also be highlighted in this week’s issue.

"Tobacco-Free Film and Fashion” is the theme designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for this year’s World No Tobacco Day, May 31, 2003. The intent is to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco use, and to heighten concern about the depiction of tobacco use in film and fashion.

This MMWR issue contains a report that focuses on a study conducted by the Center for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the CDC which found that the number of state Medicaid programs offering any form of tobacco–dependence treatments increased from 2000 to 2001, but coverage for recommended treatments remained low. Because smoking rates are highest among people living in poverty, the negative health effects of tobacco use are of major concern for State Medicaid programs. For the nation to reach its health objectives, state Medicaid coverage for treatment of tobacco dependence needs to increase dramatically.

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