Introduction: Expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults may have increased smoking cessation through improved access to evidence-based treatments. Our study sought to determine if states' decisions to expand Medicaid increased recent smoking cessation. Methods: Using pooled cross-sectional data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey for the years 2011-2015, we examined the association between state Medicaid coverage and the probability of recent smoking cessation among low-income adults without dependent children who were current or former smokers (n=36,083). We used difference-in-differences estimation to examine the effects of Medicaid coverage on smoking cessation, comparing low-income adult smokers in states with Medicaid coverage to comparable adults in states without Medicaid coverage, with ages 18-64 years to those ages 65 years and above. Analyses were conducted for the full sample and stratified by sex. Results: Residence in a state with Medicaid coverage among low-income adult smokers ages 18-64 years was associated with an increase in recent smoking cessation of 2.1 percentage points (95% confidence interval, 0.25-3.9). In the comparison group of individuals ages 65 years and above, residence in a state with Medicaid coverage expansion was not associated with a change in recent smoking cessation (-0.1 percentage point, 95% confidence interval,-2.1 to 1.8). Similar increases in smoking cessation among those ages 18-64 years were estimated for females and males (1.9 and 2.2 percentage point, respectively). Conclusion: Findings are consistent with the hypothesis that Medicaid coverage expansions may have increased smoking cessation among low-income adults without dependent children via greater access to preventive health care services, including evidence-based smoking cessation services.
- smoking cessation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health