Reduce Tobacco Use

The Issue

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and mortality in the United States, resulting in more than $300 billion in health care costs and lost productivity and roughly 480,000 premature deaths annually.

The prevalence of cigarette smoking is especially high among certain groups of adults — including individuals in low-income populations, those with mental illness or substance use disorders, and Medicaid beneficiaries.

CDC’s 6|18 Initiative Success Story

Colorado: Improving Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Benefits.
Read more »  |  Other successes »


Plan an Evidence-Based Intervention

Following are tobacco cessation interventions identified by the CDC as having a proven evidence base for improving health outcomes and controlling health care costs:

  • Increase access to tobacco cessation treatments, including individual, group, and telephone counseling, and Food and Drug Administration – approved cessation medications (in accordance with the 2008 Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guidelines and the 2015 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations).
  • Remove barriers that impede access to covered cessation treatments, such as cost-sharing and prior authorization.
  • Promote increased use of covered treatment benefits by tobacco users.

Evidence Summary: Reduce Tobacco Use

Download the CDC’s evidence summary outlining key cost and health care information for payers and providers, as well as demonstrated outcomes for each of the above interventions.

Explore Implementation Resources

The following resources can help payers, state officials, and providers to implement high-opportunity tobacco reduction interventions. Does your state/program have resources to share? Send an email to

See also CDC’s smoking and tobacco use program web page.

Business Case

Benefits and Coverage

Cessation Treatment and Best Practices

Health Plan Surveys

Provider Engagement

Beneficiary Engagement

Measurement and Evaluation

State Examples

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