An Analysis of the Factors that Impact Medicaid Recipient Tobacco Quit Rates
Background and Objectives: Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disability and disease in the United States. Individuals of low socioeconomic status are more likely to use tobacco, suffer from tobacco related illness, and fail to quit or stay quit. Medicaid recipients enrolled in the South Dakota QuitLine have significantly lower quit rates than participants who aren’t enrolled in Medicaid. The purpose of this paper is to review the factors that impact Medicaid recipients’ ability to quit or stay quit.
Methods: Tobacco use and demographic data were collected at enrollment and seven months post-enrollment using standardized assessments for 16,323 eligible participants who were enrolled in the South Dakota QuitLine between 2017 and 2019.
Results: Medicaid recipients enrolled in the South Dakota QuitLine were predominantly female, less educated, and had more chronic health conditions than participants without Medicaid. They were also much less likely to use cessation medications than the participant group not receiving Medicaid benefits. Within the Medicaid population, those who quit followed accepted trends; shorter tobacco use duration, less cigarettes smoked per day, no behavioral health conditions, and tobacco free policies at home or in their vehicles.
Conclusion: Promotion of the South Dakota QuitLine and its associated evidence-based cessation methods within the South Dakota Medicaid program can be improved upon. Additional incentive-based programs could be beneficial to decrease the number of Medicaid recipients who use tobacco and to lower the state’s expenditures on health care services for tobacco users enrolled in Medicaid.