Cigarette smoking and smoking‐related diseases disproportionately affect low‐income populations. Health insurance coverage of smoking cessation treatments is increasingly used to encourage quitting. We assess the relationship between state Medicaid coverage of smoking cessation treatments and past‐year quitting in adult Medicaid beneficiaries.

Data Sources

2009–2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS); 2008–2013 indicators of state Medicaid coverage of smoking cessation treatments.

Study Design

A triple‐differencing specification based on differences in Medicaid cessation coverage policies across states as well as within‐state differences between Medicaid beneficiaries and a counterfactual group of low‐income adults not covered by Medicaid.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

Individual‐level NHIS data with restricted geographical identifiers were merged with state‐year Medicaid coverage indicators.

Principal Findings

Combined coverage of both cessation counseling and medications in state Medicaid programs was associated with increased quitting, with an estimated mean increase in past‐year quitting of 3.0 percentage points in covered Medicaid beneficiaries relative to persons without coverage.


Combined coverage of both smoking cessation counseling and medication by state Medicaid programs could help reduce cigarette smoking among Medicaid beneficiaries.

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