Law meant to help smokers kick habit

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CHICAGO (AP) — A new Illinois law requires insurance companies to offer coverage for services meant to get smokers to kick the habit.

CHICAGO (AP) — A new Illinois law requires insurance companies to offer coverage for services meant to get smokers to kick the habit.

The American Lung Association in Illinois enthusiastically backs the law. It says 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, argues that getting smokers to quit not only improves the health of individuals: She says 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.

Gov. Quinn signed the law on Monday.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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