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Editor,—In 1997 the National Conference of State Legislatures in the United States conducted a survey of state Medicaid agencies for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to determine the extent to which states covered nicotine addiction treatment as a routine benefit under Medicaid (the government programme that provides health care to the poor). Only 22 states and the District of Columbia reported coverage for nicotine addiction treatment services under Medicaid, including only 19 of the 40 states with lawsuits against the tobacco industry to recoup Medicaid costs of smoking. These 22 states were California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. A repeat survey is now underway to obtain more detailed information on these benefits and to update the …
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