Physicians’ Recommendations to Medicaid Patients About Tobacco Cessation

No smoking sign made up of people.

Almost one third (29%) of adult Medicaid beneficiaries smoke. Almost four fifths of smokers with a personal doctor (77%) say their doctor at least sometimes advised quitting and almost half of smokers discussed cessation medications (48%), or another strategy, such as counseling (42%). Smokers’ ratings of satisfaction with their physicians and their health plans rose as the frequency of smoking recommendations increased. Those in Medicaid managed care plans smoked more, but received less advice about cessation medications than those in fee-for-service care.


Clinicians and Medicaid managed care plans can improve their efforts to motivate Medicaid patients to try to quit smoking. These findings indicate that patients value prevention-oriented advice and give better ratings to physicians and health plans that offer more support and advice about cessation.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine paper.