New law aims to help Illinoisans quit smoking

August 30, 2011

By The Associated Press

(Flickr/Raul Liberwirth)

A new Illinois law requires insurance companies to offer coverage for services meant to get smokers to kick the habit. Gov. Quinn signed the law on Monday.

The American Lung Association in Illinois enthusiastically backed the law. It said the law could be a tremendous help to tens of thousands of tobacco users who want to quit smoking but can't afford the services they need to make that happen.

A vice president at the state association, Kathy Drea, argued that getting smokers to quit not only improves the health of individuals. She said it reduces the several billion dollars that smoking-related diseases cost Illinois as a whole each year.

The smoking-cessation programs that insurance companies would be required to offer coverage on include various medical treatments and counseling by physicians.