Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Says New Study Proves State-Funded Tobacco Cessation Saves Lives and Taxpayer Money

December 20, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today noted that a new study -- the first of its kind measuring effectiveness of a government-funded smoking cessation for low-income smokers -- revealed significant health and cost-saving benefits, a program model that Blumenthal had recommended be adopted in Connecticut.

            The study concluded that the Massachusetts initiative improved quit rates and reduced heart attacks by nearly half, averting significant costs incurred by government-funded health care programs.

            “This study is Exhibit A for providing smoking cessation and prevention programs to save lives and money,” Blumenthal said. “Connecticut can no longer ignore its responsibility to direct tobacco dollars towards cessation and prevention programs -- particularly the Quitline.

            “Chronic failure to fully fund the Quitline defies common sense and sound health policy -- as this study shows. The new state administration should heed this study to restore Connecticut’s leadership in the tobacco fight.

“As I have repeatedly advocated, Connecticut has a public health and financial duty to properly invest our tobacco settlement dollars -- more than one hundred million annually -- in smoking cessation and prevention programs.

            “Cessation and prevention programs -- such as the Quitline -- pay huge dividends for a small investment, reducing disease and premature death and expenses to treat tobacco-related illness. We can save lives and money with smart public health investment.”

            The study was led by Dr. Thomas Land, director of surveillance and evaluation at the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, and examined claims data for Medicaid beneficiaries who successfully participated in the Massachusetts smoking cessation program.