Where you live affects your chances of quitting
Your determination, plus many other factors play a big role in your quit smoking success. These include your support system, the type of treatment or quit strategy you use, and your access to smoking cessation resources. Even where you live can either ease or hurt your chances of quitting smoking for good.
When it comes to helping people quit smoking, not all states are created equal. According to the “Helping Smokers Quit: Tobacco Cessation Coverage 2011” report by the American Lung Association, the best places to stay for smokers trying to quit are Maine, North Dakota, Delaware, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
What makes a quit-friendly state?
Based on the report, the quit-friendly states are those that have implemented a mix of stop-smoking efforts, including providing sufficient state funding for tobacco cessation and prevention programs, requiring private insurance companies to cover the cost of smoking cessation treatments, and ensuring that Medicaid and state employee insurance plans cover smoking cessation for low income earners.
Meanwhile, the five least quit-friendly states are Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Maryland and New Jersey. According to the American Lung Association, the policymakers in these states are “tragically missing the opportunity to improve their citizens’ health and lives, as well as save their state money”.
Some other states have started to implement more comprehensive programs and policies to discourage citizens from smoking. They include Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
The following were the key findings mentioned in the report:
- Six states cover a comprehensive tobacco cessation benefit for all Medicaid enrollees: Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania
- Two states do not cover any tobacco cessation treatments for all Medicaid enrollees: Alabama and Georgia
- Five states cover a comprehensive tobacco cessation benefit for all state employees: Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Mexico and North Dakota
- Two states do not cover any tobacco cessation treatments for state employees: Louisiana and Maryland
- Nine states require private insurance plans to cover tobacco cessation treatments: Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont
- Four states invest in quitlines at or above the national minimum standard: Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming
You can search the web to gain access to thousands of quit smoking resources. Look for the online resource that addresses your quit smoking concerns. You can also work with a smoking cessation specialist who can customize a quit plan that fits your needs.
Don’t feel sad if you are not from the quit-friendly states. You can still improve your chances of quitting smoking by finding tools and resources that can help you quit. If you can’t find one or you don’t feel comfortable with the services available in your area, you can search the web to gain access to thousands of quit smoking resources. You will find free and fee-based support systems. Look for the online resource that addresses your quit smoking concerns. You can also work with a smoking cessation specialist who can customize a quit plan that fits your needs.