South Carolina takes a step in improving health by offering all smokers enrolled in the Healthy Connections program an all-inclusive set of services to help in quitting smoking.
June Deen of the American Lung Association of South Carolina told South Carolina Radio Network that it gives those in the program more choices when they want to quit smoking. “It works through the state Medicaid program. So if you are a Medicaid recipient and you want help in quitting smoking there are more options,” said Deen.
Starting July 1 the service will include all seven FDA-approved medications and counseling for use in quitting smoking for all full-benefit Medicaid enrollees. “There are no barriers to obtaining treatment and there’s much more support in helping them quit,” Deen said.
The Lung Association said that indiduals enrolled in Medicaid are twice as likely to smoke and use other tobacco products as those who have private insurance.
The South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control’s Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services were instrumental in bring the program to South Carolina.
All South Carolinians currently receive free counseling services through the South Carolina Tobacco Quitline, 800-QUIT-NOW. (1-800-784-8669).