Answers About Tobacco

TFN E-News Update / February 4, 2022

Medicaid Changes to Tobacco Cessation Program

On January 21, 2022, Medicaid issued Provider Bulletin 22-06, Changes to Tobacco Cessation Program. Highlights from the new bulletin include:
  • The tobacco cessation program covers certain counseling and products to help beneficiaries voluntarily quit tobacco. Common products include nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler, nicotine lozenge, nicotine nasal spray, nicotine patch, bupropion, and varenicline.
  • Beneficiaries are no longer required to enroll in the Nebraska Tobacco Free Quitline to be able to receive tobacco cessation products; enrollment is still encouraged.
*Other requirements to receive cessation products remain in effect:
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Products must be FDA-approved and used according to FDA dosing and age guidelines
  • A prescription is required

American Lung Association’s “State of Tobacco” Report

The 20th annual American Lung Association “State of Tobacco Control” report evaluates states and the federal government on the proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies necessary to save lives. Grades for state report cards are based on five areas that have been proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use and save lives.
The report was released on January 27, 2022. Click to see Nebraska’s report.

Nebraska Legislative Update

Senator Justin Wayne introduced LB954 which would take away local communities’ ability/authority to pass “any ordinance or resolution that is more restrictive than the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act as it applies to electronic smoking devices, including the banning of certain electronic smoking device methods or flavors.” Bill was referred to Health and Human Services Committee and a hearing date has been set for February 17, 2022 at 1:30pm.

Senator Hilkemann introduced LB1230 which will appropriate $500,000 from the Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund for cancer education. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services would contract with an “organization located in Nebraska which provides comprehensive cancer support and education to provide a statewide education program regarding cancer, its causes, and the resources available to support cancer patients.” The bill was referred to Health and Human Services Committee and a hearing was held on February 3, 2022.


February Health Education Opportunities

Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This #AmericanHeartMonth, learn how quitting smoking can protect your heart by talking to a quit coach at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting

  • African American History Month
  • American Heart Month
  • World Cancer Day, February 4th
  • National Wear Red Day, February 4th
  • National Cancer Prevention Month

*Tobacco use has been linked to both Heart Disease and 12 types of Cancer.

Congratulations to Jeff Soukup on becoming a newly elected PHAN board member!

Public Health Association of Nebraska (PHAN) provides a forum for discussion and advocacy around significant public health concerns facing the state. To learn more about PHAN click here.


Managing Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention feature article, released Dec 29, 2021, celebrates New Year’s resolutions and helps people manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms as they quit. Related social media posts accompanied the feature article, as well as a partner e-blast with information to promote and share. 

Follow @CDCTobaccoFree on Twitter and the CDC Tobacco Free Facebook page for shareable information. 



A Tip From Former Smoker® – Mental Health

Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population. It is so important to know that tobacco use does not relieve stress or ease depression. Some people smoke when they feel stressed, and use smoking as a way to cope. Smoking is not going to reduce stress.
At age 33, Rebecca was diagnosed with depression. She smoked frequently when she felt depressed because she thought smoking might help her cope with her feelings. Rebecca felt ashamed when she smoked, so when she tried to quit and couldn’t, she felt even more depressed. “That was just a vicious, vicious cycle,” she said. To break the cycle, Rebecca knew she had to get care for her depression and quit smoking for good.
Some smokers find it hard to give up cigarettes as a way to cope with stress. It’s important to find healthy ways to handle stress and take care of yourself without smoking. There are many other ways to cope with stress that don’t involve smoking. For information on how to help someone quit even during stressful times you can learn more about the seven most common withdrawal symptoms and how to manage them here.

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit to reach a trained quit coach, access to free quit-smoking medication, and make a plan to quit tobacco for good.