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NAQC Newsroom: Announcements

Final TRICARE Rule

Monday, March 4, 2013  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

American Lung Association Welcomes Final TRICARE Rule on Smoking Cessation

New rule ensures millions in TRICARE will have access to evidence-based, comprehensive smoking cessation benefit

Statement of the American Lung Association

WASHINGTON, DC, (February 27, 2013) —The American Lung Association applauds the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) release of the final rule that will ensure those in TRICARE, the health insurance program for military personnel, families and retirees, will have access to an evidence-based, comprehensive smoking cessation benefit. This rule will provide millions under TRICARE with the tools and support they need to quit using tobacco, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. This rule ensures access to FDA approved medications for smoking cessation and all forms of counseling. Reducing tobacco use will save lives, money and increase military readiness.

Tobacco use in the military is a serious problem, resulting in $1.6 billion in health care costs and lost productivity. Currently, the smoking rate for active duty military is 30.5 percent, with smoking rates highest among personnel ages 18 to 25. Tobacco use compromises military readiness and the performance of our men and women in the armed forces. Studies have found that smoking is one of the best predictors of training failure, and increases a soldier’s chances of physical injury and hospitalization.

In our "State of Tobacco Control 2013” report, the American Lung Association highlighted the need for DoD to move forward with issuing a final TRICARE rule to ensure increased cessation coverage. The rule was initially proposed in September of 2011. In November 2011, the Lung Association both individually and with our partners filed comments urging the Department of Defense to move forward with implementing the comprehensive cessation benefit it proposed for TRICARE members. The American Lung Association commends the DoD for this new rule as an important step in this direction and looks forward to working with DoD in continuing to expand access to these benefits to all men and women in service.

In 2009, the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report titled, Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations. The medical panel found that "tobacco control does not have a high priority in DoD or VA.” This report, which was requested by both departments, issued a series of recommendations. The IOM recommendations include commonsense approaches to eliminating the use of tobacco in the U.S. military. The American Lung Association urges the DoD to move forward with all of the IOM’s recommendations to reduce the terrible burden caused by tobacco use in the military.

Among the American Lung Association’s many resources for helping people quit using tobacco, is the Lung HelpLine - 1-800NoSkype-LUNGUSA or 1-800-586-4872. The Lung HelpLine is staffed by Registered Nurses and Registered Respiratory Therapists who can give personalized advice and counseling on smoking cession and other lung health issues. The Lung HelpLine has served as a contractor providing smoking cessation support for 33 Air Force and combined bases, including several overseas, since 2001.

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About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1 800 LUNG USA (1 800 586 4872) or visit

American Lung Association • 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW • Washington, DC 20004-1725

1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) •

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