Poll says increased tax a big motivator to quit smoking

· Health/Science
Source:Radio Iowa,2008-01-18
A coalition of groups that successfully lobbied for a state cigarette tax increase has released a survey that shows the increase is responsible for over 50-percent of the people who have tried to stop smoking this year. Sandra Quilty of Iowans for Wellness & Prevention says the poll found 65-percent of smokers are trying to quit.

Quilty says they're seeing a majority of smokers wanting to quit, and they're motivated by the tax increase. Quilty also says there needs to be more programs to help people quit. Quilty says a large percentage of those who're trying to kick the habit think there should be some help from their employers. She says 71-percent of smokers and recent quitters believe that health insurance companies should provide F.D.A. approved cessation treatments and therapies as a standard health insurance benefit.

Quilty says the access to the therapies was ranked as the number one thing that would help them quit. Quilty says it often takes several attempts before a smoker is able to quit, and support is key. Quilty says 62-percent of the people in the survey say coverage of treatments would make it easier for them to stop smoking. Quilty says 66-percent of the smokers who say they are likely to try and quit are covered by private insurance, while 11 percent are covered by Medicaid. Medicaid in Iowa does cover programs to help people stop smoking.

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