Held a joint press conference with representatives of the American Cancer Society.
Greek American Assemblyman Matthew Mirones (R,C – Staten Island, Bay Ridge) held a press conference Tuesday at the American Cancer Society, to announce legislation that provides universal insurance coverage for prescription and non-prescription smoking cessation treatments. Mirones was joined by representatives of the American Cancer Society.
“More than 1.4 million New Yorkers currently smoke and 70 percent of those want to quit,” said Mirones. “Integration of treatment for nicotine dependency into standard medical practice is beneficial not only from a health perspective but from a cost perspective, as well.”
According to Mirones, smoking causes overwhelming health-related economic costs to society. Medical care and hospitalization costs are substantially higher among smokers compared to non-smokers. Approximately $157 billion in annual health-related economic costs are caused by tobacco addiction. Preventing a variety of costly chronic diseases by treating tobacco dependency is economically important to our state, the lawmaker said. New York spends an estimated $6.38 billion in health-care costs.
“It is a proven fact that smoking cessation products along with counseling can help people quit. These programs provide large health benefits at a relatively low cost,” said Mirones.
“By eliminating financial barriers, my legislation would increase access and availability to New Yorkers who smoke, enabling them the opportunity to quit,” said Mirones. “Not only will this enhance the quality and longevity of their lives, but it will also decrease the immense financial burden on our society.”