Today, the American Lung Association in Ohio released a statement regarding House Bill 11, which was passed by the Ohio General Assembly this morning.
“The American Lung Association applauds the Ohio Legislature for heeding the recommendations of our ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report and making it easier for Ohioans to quit smoking. Today, the General Assembly passed HB 11, a bill to provide for tobacco cessation coverage for Medicaid recipients and Ohio state employees. We commend Representatives Gayle Manning and Stephanie Howse for sponsoring this bill and thank the Ohio General Assembly for passage. We now call on Governor DeWine to sign this bill as soon as possible.
“Nationwide, Medicaid enrollees smoke at a higher rate than the general population. And despite the falling smoking rates in recent years, Medicaid enrollees have not experienced the same improvements. Ohio Medicaid enrollees smoke at high rates – estimates range from 45.1% to 47.4% of enrollees smoke. Helping these individuals quit will save both lives and money.
“HB 11 expands the same robust benefit to the State Employee Health Plan. This coverage will help smokers who are also state employees and their families quit, improving their health and helping the state save money by preventing smoking cause morbidities. Improving quit-smoking benefits will help more smokers quit. The State Employee Health Plan is one of the largest private, employer-sponsored health plans in a state. As a result, it covers more individuals and families than other plans. The plan also serves as an example of what coverage should be or an unofficial benchmark.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.