It’s official! All CVS/pharmacy locations are tobacco free as of September 3, 2014, beating our original target date by nearly a month. When we first shared our decision to remove cigarettes and tobacco from the shelves of our 7,700 CVS/pharmacy locations, some called it a bold decision. We called it the right decision then, and we call it the right decision now.
We all know the dangers associated with tobacco products. In fact, smoking is the leading cause of premature disease and death in the United States with more than 480,000 deaths each year. While the prevalence of cigarette smoking has decreased from approximately 42 percent of adults in 1965 to 18 percent today, the rate of reduction in smoking prevalence has stalled in the past decade. More interventions, such as reducing the availability of cigarettes, are needed.
"CVS Health is always looking for ways to promote health and reduce the burden of disease," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. "Putting an end to the sale of cigarettes and tobacco will make a significant difference in reducing the chronic illnesses associated with tobacco use."
For some of our customers this is nothing new; they already experience a tobacco-free CVS/pharmacy. For example, two stores in the San Francisco market and dozens of stores in Massachusetts – where tobacco sales are banned by local ordinance – are tobacco free. And since the spring, new and relocated CVS/pharmacy stores have opened without cigarettes and other tobacco products behind the counter.
"Every day, all across the country, customers and patients place their trust in our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners to serve their health care needs," said Helena B. Foulkes, President of CVS/pharmacy. "The removal of cigarettes and other tobacco products from our stores is an important step in helping Americans to quit smoking and get healthy."
Throughout the rest of 2014, our CVS/pharmacy stores will be unveiling new signage behind the checkout and will introduce a robust smoking cessation program and an enhanced selection of nicotine replacement products in select stores.
Learn more about our smoking cessation program here.