When the Medicare advisory panel voted against covering lung cancer screening , smoking cessation was suggested as a better place to put those healthcare dollars.

“[Wouldn’t it] make sense to allocate our resources directly at tobacco control interventions, where we would see absolute risk reductions that would eclipse what we’re seeing with early detection of lung cancer through CT,” panelist Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH, noting the consistently significant shortfalls in state tobacco control funding.

Some MedPage Today readers, like Robert Luedecke, MD, an anesthesiologist in private practice in San Antonio, agreed.

“As an anesthesiologist who knows how difficult it is for some people to stop smoking, I think it is essential we not spend a lot of public money on screening people who continue to smoke,” he commented. “We must accept the fact that in the US we do not have unlimited funds for healthcare and must draw the line on spending somewhere.”

But others argued against that attitude.