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Government & Politics

Ohio Medicaid Recipients Will be Urged to Stop Smoking Under DeWine Wellness Initiative

photo of Mike DeWine
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Gov. Mike DeWine watches a presentation about different vaping products.

Gov. Mike DeWine is revealing more about the wellness initiatives that he wants to implement for the 2.8 million people on Medicaid in Ohio, including the 677,000 in Medicaid expansion. 

DeWine said he’ll make quitting smoking one of his Medicaid wellness initiatives.

“If we can help them get healthier, it’s going to be better for them, it’ll be better for their families, and it’s going to save the state millions of dollars," he said. "So that’s coming, and we’re going to do it.”

DeWine said a sharp focus on wellness, including prevention and healthy weight maintenance, will be part of negotiations for new contracts with managed care companies.

He is also pushing lawmakers to raise the age to buy tobacco and nicotine products to 21, even though the state could lose nearly $40 million in revenue over the next two years.