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Smoking Cessation Therapy – Patient’s Right to be Paid by Health Insurance Companies in Case of Tabacco Addiction

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0265-0268

german translation / full article

Ulf Ratje, Klaus-Dieter Kolenda

Keywords: Tobacco Dependence Addiction Health Insurance Companies Smoking Cessation Therapy Primary Prevention of Smoking

Summary: Tobacco addiction is a disease which should be covered by health insurance companies. In spite of discussions for years politics and health insurance companies in Germany disagree with this opinion. The authors of this paper give reasons why this position must be corrected because of a medical-scientific as well as juridical view point. Tobacco dependence is an internationally acknowledged disease. A proved tobacco dependence requires a therapeutic intervention, which is to be paid by health insurance companies. This also includes the drugs which are necessary for treatment of nicotine addiction. A consultation for smoking cessation as primary prevention is only indicated for formally healthy smokers, though a nicotine dependency does not yet exist and smoking is therefore just a potentially harming behavior. The target groups are adolescents and young adults. Therapists have to distinguish clearly between treatment and primary prevention. Up to now smoking cessation therapy in Germany is to be paid privately. Since there has been no change of view on the side of politicians and health insurance companies in Germany during the last yearsthis matter should be resolved legally by social courts. First lawsuit have already been brought in.


(State: 15.06.2016)

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