Arkansas looks to potentially cut state smoking cessation program

Quit smoking, Thinkstock
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Arkansas Legislative Council is looking at potential cuts to the state's smoking cessation program.

The Arkansas Department of Health said it costs about a million and a half dollars a year to run the line. But they said it's much cheaper to pay to help people quit smoking than treat them after they get cancer.

"They're seeing the upfront price tag, but it's our job at the Arkansas Department of Health to help remind them of the huge downstream cost that will incur if we don't provide these cessation services,” said Dr. Nate Smith with the Arkansas Department of Health.

Dr. Smith said nearly 11,000 people use the quit line every year, and about 3,000 of them successfully quit.

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According to the department of health, for every one dollar they spend on cessation the state saves $28 in direct healthcare.