Arkansas Tobacco Quitline Up for Votes


Lawmakers could potentially not renew a contract for the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline.

There has been a tobacco quitline in the state for nearly 15 years. The Department of Health says there were questions by lawmakers that counseling services, like the tobacco quitline, were provided under the new health care system Arkansas Works. The Department of Health says services like the quitline are essential in getting people to quit smoking.

“Any other way that we do it will ultimately cost the state more. We are hopeful we can convince our legislatures that this is the best option to chose,” said Arkansas Department of Health’s Gary Wheeler.

An average of up to 4,000 people a year who go to the quitline are able to quit. Wheeler says about 1.2 million dollars goes toward the service and that money comes from a settlement agreement with tobacco companies. The department says for every dollar invested, the state can save about $28 dollars in long term health savings. A vote is expected next month.

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