I just got this news release from CVS, what do you think of the big news?
You’ve heard from me before how vital and important your role is in educating so many of the people who shop or fill their prescriptions at CVS/pharmacy each day – thank you for all you do! We are honored to have your support and appreciate the enthusiasm you share about our brand.
Now, you’ve also heard from me and others at CVS Caremark that our corporate mission is focused on helping put people on a path to better health. One of the ways we can bring this vision to life in a meaningful way is by helping our customers, employees and patients live tobacco-free lives. This morning, CVS Caremark announced we will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at our more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores by October 1, 2014.
Now more than ever, pharmacies are on the front lines of health care, becoming more involved in chronic disease management to help patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All of these conditions are made worse by smoking, which is the leading cause of premature disease and death in the U.S., with more than 480,000 deaths annually. Because of this, this is the right thing for us to do and something we need to do for our customers.
Our decision to stop selling tobacco products is consistent with the positions taken by the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and American Pharmacists Association that have all publicly opposed tobacco sales in retail outlets with pharmacies. There is evidence that reducing the availability of cigarettes reduces smoking rates, and research shows that seven out of ten smokers say they want to quit, so we want to help them do so.
In addition to removing cigarettes and tobacco products for sale, this Spring CVS Caremark will also be launching a national smoking cessation program with the goal of helping millions of Americans quit smoking. We will have more details to share about what this program entails in the coming months. In the meantime, we ask you to share this message with your readers if you stand with us in our commitment to go tobacco-free.
Chief Marketing Officer