R 233
2001-S 843
Enacted 5/29/2001

J  O  I  N  T     R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N


Introduced By:  Senators Graziano, Izzo, Roberts, Walsh and Blais Date Introduced:  March 8, 2001

WHEREAS, Smoking is the single most preventable cause of disease and death, causing more deaths each year than AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, motor vehicle crashes, and fires combined; and more than thirty percent of coronary heart disease cases are attributable to cigarette smoking; and more than thirty percent of all annual cancer deaths are attributable to smoking, with lung cancer now the leading cancer killer in women as well as men; and

WHEREAS, Environmental tobacco smoke is a cause of disease and death, including lung cancer, in healthy nonsmokers, especially among infants and children; and

WHEREAS, More than eighty percent of chronic obstructive lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are attributable to smoking; and

WHEREAS, Tobacco-related disease places a tremendous financial burden upon the persons with the disease, their families, the health care delivery system, the State of Rhode Island, and society as a whole. According to the National Center for Disease Control, Rhode Island spends three hundred forty million dollars a year for health care directly related to tobacco use, and an additional four million dollars to thirteen million dollars for babies' health problems caused by mothers smoking or being exposed to second hand smoke during pregnancy; and

WHEREAS, The National Center for Disease Control further finds that Rhode Island state government spends ninety million dollars in Medicaid payments directly related to tobacco use; and that Rhode Island residents' tax burden, both state and federal, caused by tobacco-related health costs, is one hundred seventy million dollars; and

WHEREAS, The elimination of smoking is the number one weapon against four of the five leading causes of death in Rhode Island; and

WHEREAS, The State of Rhode Island shall play a leading role in promoting a smoke-free society thereby supporting the national health status objectives relating to smoking and tobacco use; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations respectfully requests that the Director of the Department of Human Services conduct a feasibility study of adding smoking cessation therapy as a Medicaid covered benefit; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Director shall report her findings and recommendations to the General Assembly on or before May 1, 2001; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Director of the Department of Human Services.

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