A state lawmaker wants to make insurance companies pick-up the tab for helping smokers kick the habit.
When trying to quit, smokers often turn to medications, counseling, or nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch or gum. However, state Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison) says only about 70-percent of insurance providers cover those sometimes expensive treatments, which can discourage smokers from seeking the help they need.
Black is introducing legislation that would require insurance companies to cover stop-smoking treatments. He says the move would save billions of dollars in health care costs each year by encouraging people to quit.
The UW Comprehensive Cancer Center estimates there are at least 800-thousand smokers in the state.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:17)