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Resolution - Health Care Authority

Resolution - Health Care Authority

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund Board of Directors
Commending the Oklahoma Health Care Authority's Expanded Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Products
August 13, 2004

WHEREAS, the Oklahoma State Board of Health has declared tobacco use as Oklahoma's number one health problem; and

WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Oklahoma State Medical Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and numerous other organizations have joined together to address Oklahoma's devastating tobacco use problem; and

WHEREAS, Oklahoma's success in addressing its devastating tobacco use problem is dependent upon effective policy and programs, including comprehensive programs to prevent and treat tobacco addiction and to protect Oklahomans of all ages and populations from exposure to secondhand smoke; and 

WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has implemented a policy expanding access to smoking cessation products for Oklahomans participating in SoonerCare, the state's Medicaid program, in keeping with its vision statement, Our vision is for Oklahomans to enjoy optimal health status through having access to quality health care regardless of their ability to pay; and

WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Medicaid Program serves more than 600,000 Oklahomans each year; and

WHEREAS, Medicaid beneficiaries have approximately 50% higher smoking prevalence than the overall population; and

WHEREAS, an estimated $198 million in Oklahoma's annual Medicaid costs are attributable to smoking; and

WHEREAS, the absence of tobacco addiction and smoke improves the health of Medicaid beneficiaries, their families and their communities; an 

WHEREAS, research shows people who use some form of nicotine replacement therapy and participate in a behavior change program double their chances of quitting smoking for good; and

WHEREAS, the OHCA is joining other health-related state agencies in promoting better health for their employees and for the Oklahomans they serve via the establishment of effective tobacco use prevention and cessation policies;

BE IT NOW RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust commends the Oklahoma Health Care Authority for its adoption of a public health program that expands access to smoking cessation products and emphasizes the use of behavior change supports such as the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline and physician counseling.