The number of people requesting help to stop smoking has soared, with the biggest three health insurance companies all reporting a sharp rise, the AD said on Monday.
Last year, 40,000 people asked VGZ, CZ or Menzis to fund a course or medication to try to quit, the paper said. In 2012, just 3,200 people made a similar request.
Research by the Trimbos addiction centre also shows more people are asking for help. Last year, some 37% of smokers had a go at quitting smoking, up from 34% in 2014.
The Netherlands still has 3.1 million smokers, of whom 465,000 smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day. Some 20% to 30% of attempts to stop smoking after a course are successful.
Trimbos spokesman Marc Willemsen said he expects the number of people asking their insurance company to pay for a course will soar in 2020, when help to quit smoking will be excluded from the €385 own risk element.
‘That cost is a serious obstacle to people who need serious help,’ he said. ‘They cannot afford it.’
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