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Calif. Bill Would Mandate Coverage Of Stop Smoking Treatments

— Health insurers would be required to help Californians kick the smoking habit if one state lawmaker gets his way. Democratic Senator Leland Yee is pushing a measure to make coverage of patches, gums, counseling and other anti-smoking treatments mandatory.

An Assembly committee approved the bill Tuesday. Yee said it will help the state bring down health costs. “But in the long run if we have a more healthy population, it is going to bring down the cost of not only whatever services we need to provide for us to live, but also, more importantly our health care programs.”

Yee said studies show if patients have unrestricted access to smoking cessation programs, they’re more likely to quit.

The California Association of Health Plans opposes the bill. The group points out that some insurers already offer such coverage. They said the new mandate will increase premiums.

According to the Department of public health, 14 percent of California adults smoke.

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Avatar for user 'qaz668'

qaz668 | June 22, 2010 at 11:17 p.m. ― 6 years, 9 months ago

Electronic cigarettes should be a covered way to get away from using cigarettes. They do not burn. Instead, the nicotine solution is vaporized by an atomizer which allows the user to inhale what looks and feels just like smoke, but it exposes the user to no tar and it does not have the over 4000 chemicals contained in tobacco smoke. It comes in a variety of strengths so you can step down if you want to. My mother has had a great experience with her electronic cigarette from

The upfront cost to buy the kit is soon recouped because the cartridges/refills are about 1/2 the cost of regular cigarettes.

My mother smoked for over 50 years and tried many methods to get away from tobacco but none have worked for her until this.

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Avatar for user 'wulugz'

wulugz | June 28, 2010 at 4:56 a.m. ― 6 years, 9 months ago

As the hippocratical oath says, "Above all...Do no harm." As healthcare professionals, this may be violated by not only giving the wrong information, but also not promoting a healthier lifestyle to patients. Any treatment given is fee for service, therefore giving advice and information on smoking cessation to patients is treatment for service. The other thing is that treatment does not have to always come in the form of medication, since most smokers who quit the habit, used alternative methods outside of medications, including myself. I used certain concepts from, "Speed Limits to a No Smoking Zone," which helped me kick the habit without medications or hypnosis. These concepts adapted to my own lifestyle of smoking. Check it out at

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Avatar for user 'grot86'

grot86 | September 29, 2010 at 3:44 a.m. ― 6 years, 6 months ago

smoking, drinking and eating more also creates more jobs and is good for the national economy.

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