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American Lung Association in California Statement on Governor Brown Veto of AB 1162

(October 12, 2015)

On October 10, 2015 Governor Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1162 citing fiscal uncertainty for the state Medicaid program. This legislation would have ensured access to proven cessation services for all Medi-Cal recipients, a population that smokes at higher rates than the general population.

Most smokers want to quit and many of them try every year, while only a relatively small percentage are successful.1 A 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study showed that 69 percent of adult smokers wanted to stop smoking, 52 percent had tried to do so in the past year and only 6 percent had recently quit.2 Many tobacco users require several attempts before they quit for good, and many need help during the quitting process.3 Quitting “cold turkey” is not effective for the vast majority of smokers.4

Fortunately, a number of treatments exist that are proven to increase a smoker’s chances of quitting for good. AB 1162 would have ensured that Medi-Cal recipients have access to those treatments, including the seven FDA-approved prescription and over-the-counter medications and three types of counseling that have been proven effective in helping smokers quit.

Although we are disappointed that some of our most vulnerable populations still face barriers to access effective tobacco cessation benefits, we will continue to help people quit smoking every day using these proven methods. Through our life-saving program, Freedom From Smoking, smokers can get the help they need to successfully quit online and in-person by contacting a local American Lung Association office. For live expert support, call the Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNGUSA. 




1Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. A Clinical Practice Guideline. US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service, 2008. Available at professionals/clinicians-providers/guidelines-recommendations/tobacco/index.html.

2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quitting Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2001-2010. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2011; 60(44):1513-9.

3 Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. 2008

4 Fiore MC, Bailey WC, Cohen SJ, et al. 2008

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