KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Medicaid Benefits To Help Smokers Quit Fall Short, Study Finds

Even though Medicaid enrollees are more likely to smoke than the general public, a study of state data finds wide differences in cessation funding and eligibility. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that e-cigarette ads are contributing to the surge in popularity of the tobacco product among American youth.

NPR: Medicaid Programs Fall Short When It Comes To Helping Smokers Quit
Smoking is the #1 cause of premature death and preventable illness in the United States. And since one-third of Medicaid participants smoke, compared to 17 percent of the general population, you'd think the states would be all about helping people in their Medicaid programs to quit. But just 10 percent of Medicaid participants who smoke are getting medication to help them quit, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs. That's 830,000 people in 2013. (Shute, 1/5)

Kaiser Health News: Gaps Remain Among States’ Medicaid Efforts To Help People Kick Smoking Habit
The 2010 federal health law has a provision that was supposed to make it easier for people on Medicaid to quit smoking. But in a number of states, it’s not, so far, having widespread success. That’s the main takeaway from a study published Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs. The law says all state Medicaid programs have to cover tobacco cessation drugs — meaning they have to pay for things like nicotine patches, Chantix, nicotine gum or Wellbutrin, when patients are using them to try to quit smoking. But it leaves states relative freedom in how they go about doing so and what conditions they place on how the benefit is applied.

The Baltimore Sun: Advertising May Be Fueling The Popularity Of E-Cigarettes Among Teens, CDC Says
Nearly 7 in 10 middle and high school students are exposed to e-cigarette ads, and that might help explain why the electronic devices are now the most popular tobacco product among these children, U.S. health officials said Tuesday. Results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey reveal that 66% of middle school students and 71% of high school students saw at least one e-cigarette advertisement in 2014. (Kaplan, 1/5)

CQ Roll Call: CDC Sees Link In E-Cigarette Advertising And Use By Youth
Nearly seven out of 10 students in middle or high school were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in 2014, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Director Thomas Frieden said the amount of advertising exposure is a likely contributor to the rise in youth e-cigarette use. (Siddons, 1/5)

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