The Massachusetts study provides ample evidence that comprehensive smoking cessation benefits must be a core component of anti-tobacco initiatives to help smokers substantially reduce their risk for coronary heart disease. The dramatic decline in heart attack hospitalizations for smokers who used the benefit is stunning and demonstrates the effectiveness of tobacco treatment coverage that includes behavioral counseling and medicines approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Massachusetts researchers found heart attack hospitalizations among smokers enrolled in MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program, dropped by 46 percent and their risk of hospitalization for other acute coronary heart disease diagnoses dropped by 49 percent in the first year after the use of the benefit. The findings underscore the importance of expanding cessation benefits nationwide to help individuals improve their heart health and lower their risk for chronic illnesses. We urge all state officials to fund comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs at levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Heart Association is also committed to educating the public about heart disease and stroke risks associated with tobacco use through Life Simple 7, here. Reducing tobacco use will bring us closer to achieving the association's goals to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020.

To view the full study visit here.

American Heart Association

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