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AARC to Congress: Support Tobacco Cessation Services

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September 11, 2009

The AARC has joined 29 fellow groups and organizations in a new letter asking members of Congress to support preventative services such as tobacco cessation counseling and medications in their health care reform legislation.

Spearheaded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the letter specifically cites statistics on tobacco and health, noting tobacco use is responsible for more than 400,000 deaths and nearly $100 billion in health care costs.

It goes on to note access to counseling sessions and FDA-approved medications is included as a grade A recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and that the National Commission on Prevention Priorities has rated smoking cessation services as one of the three most cost effective prevention services currently available.

The letter concludes by emphasizing the vital role preventative services can and should play in efforts to reform the health care system. “Effective prevention provisions will mean fewer premature deaths, a reduction in disease burden, and more cost-effective health care spending.”