For Immediate Release

APHA Applauds HHS Plan to Extend Benefits to Help America’s Seniors Stop Smoking

Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, Executive Director

Washington, D.C., December 23, 2004 – "The American Public Health Association enthusiastically welcomes today’s announcement from Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson that HHS plans to extend benefits to help Medicare recipients stop smoking.

While he didn’t arrive on a sleigh, Secretary Thompson has delivered a wondrous gift to America’s seniors just in time for the holidays. This proposal will save lives and save money.

The science demonstrates that it’s never too late for someone to stop smoking and with 300,000 smoking-related deaths annually of Americans age 65 and older, this proposal will go a long way in helping thousands of seniors live longer, healthier lives."

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