Medicaid to cover smoking-cessation treatment

(May 19, 2004) - (Little Rock-AP) -- Governor Huckabee says the cost of smoking-cessation programs will be paid by state Medicaid program for eligible Medicaid recipients. According to the governor's announcement yesterday, about 26 percent of the 600-thousand Medicaid recipients in Arkansas are tobacco users. The governor said smoking-related illnesses among people in the program generate 540 million dollars each year in medical bills. Huckabee says the state will save money by helping people quit. Huckabee said Arkansas may be the first state to cover the costs of quitting smoking for Medicaid patients.