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Tobacco cessation therapy affordability

Health Factors: Tobacco Use
Decision Makers: Employers & Businesses Healthcare Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Interventions that reduce the cost of tobacco cessation therapy aim to minimize financial barriers to therapies like nicotine replacement and behavioral therapies (e.g., cessation groups). Services may be provided through the health care system or clients may be reimbursed for their expenses (CG-Tobacco use).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased quit rates
Increased access to cessation treatment
Increased use of cessation treatment

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that reducing client out-of-pocket costs for tobacco cessation therapy increases access to cessation treatment (CG-Tobacco use) and modestly increases quit rates (CG-Tobacco use, Cochrane-Reda 2012).

Full financial interventions directed at smokers cover all the costs of smoking cessation treatments. These interventions increase quit attempt rates, use of smoking cessation treatments, and success in quitting. Financial incentives directed at health care providers appear unlikely to affect quit rates (Cochrane-Reda 2012).


United States

The Affordable Care Act requires all health insurance plans to cover tobacco cessation treatment at no cost to patients. However, confusing contract language may leave patients unaware of this benefit (CTFK-Kofman 2012).

Implementation Resources

CDC-Cessation coverage - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Coverage for tobacco use cessation treatments. Accessed on April 3, 2017
HealthPartners-CHA - HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research. Community health advisor (CHA): Resource for information on the benefits of evidence-based policies and programs: Helping communities understand, analyze, and model costs. Accessed on April 3, 2017

Citations - Description

CG-Tobacco use - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Tobacco. Accessed on April 3, 2017

Citations - Evidence

CG-Tobacco use - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Tobacco. Accessed on April 3, 2017
Cochrane-Reda 2012* - Reda AA, Kotz D, Evers SAA, van Schayck CP. Healthcare financing systems for increasing the use of tobacco dependence treatment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2012;(6):CD004305. Accessed on April 3, 2017

Citations - Implementation

CTFK-Kofman 2012 - Kofman M, Dunton K, Senkewicz MB. Implementation of tobacco cessation coverage under the Affordable Care Act : Understanding how private health insurance policies cover tobacco cessation treatments. Washington, DC: Health Policy Institute (HPI), Georgetown University; 2012. Accessed on April 3, 2017

Page Last Updated

January 17, 2014

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