Removing Barriers to Accessing Tobacco Cessation Support

Despite the World Health Organization’s May 2023 declaration that COVID-19 no longer is a global health emergency, COVID-19 still disproportionately impacts individuals who use tobacco products, and the toll is worse for people with low SES characteristics. Low SES populations exhibit a higher prevalence of tobacco use, a heightened susceptibility to contracting COVID-19, and a greater burden of adverse health outcomes related to both COVID-19 and tobacco use.

Medicaid programs provide tobacco cessation coverage for millions of low-income people, yet Medicaid coverage for up to 15 million Americans is at risk. This 2-page fact sheet gives a brief overview of recent changes to federal policy regarding Medicaid coverage eligibility and steps public health professionals can take to maintain access to tobacco cessation treatment and protect people from losing insurance coverage.