Skip to main content

Helping Deliver the First Tobacco-Free Generation

May 12, 2017 | Community

Despite progress toward reducing tobacco use and reducing its detrimental health impact, tobacco-related diseases still contribute to thousands of deaths each year. Tobacco use remains the top preventable cause of death in the United States: one person dies every six seconds from a tobacco-related disease.

A Significant Toll

Deaths from tobacco use affect both smokers and non-smokers. In fact, nine out of ten lung cancers are caused by smoking. If smoking were completely eliminated, one in three of all cancer deaths in the U.S. could be prevented.

Although smoking rates have been in decline, 5.6 million of today’s children will ultimately die early as a result of smoking if we do not continue to reduce current smoking rates. What’s more, smoking costs the U.S. more than $156 billion in lost productivity, $5.6 billion of which is from secondhand smoke exposure.

CVS Health Can Help

Seven out of ten smokers say they want to quit, which can be a difficult and ongoing process. We offer a number of services and community programs to help people quit smoking and prevent non-smokers from starting.

Smokers need strong support to quit tobacco. Start to Stop® is our individualized approach to smoking cessation that provides personal counseling with a nurse practitioner to create smoking cessation plans as well as nicotine-replacement recommendations.

In addition, at CVS locations across the country, pharmacists have counseled more than 260,000 patients about smoking cessation and filled 600,000 nicotine replacement therapy prescriptions.

Be The First

Preventing tobacco use before it starts is a public health priority, which is why we introduced Be The First in March 2016. Be The First is funded through CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation, and comprises comprehensive anti-smoking education, tobacco control advocacy and healthy behavior programming in partnership with organizations uniquely positioned to tackle this public health challenge.

In just over one year since launching Be The First:

  • CVS Health has reached nearly five million young people with anti-smoking programming and has helped 20 colleges and universities pursue 100 percent smoke-and tobacco-free campus policies.

  • The CVS Health Foundation and Truth Initiative announced an expanded partnership to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities and community colleges across the country adopt 100 percent tobacco-free policies.

  • As part of our commitment to support the efforts of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the CVS Health Foundation is funding a new online training program with courses to train youth and adults to become tobacco prevention ambassadors.

  • The CVS Health Foundation will invest nearly $1 million to address smoking cessation in the oncology setting across several of the nation's leading cancer hospitals.

To learn more about our efforts to reduce smoking rates, visit our Tobacco Prevention & Cessation information center. And to stay informed about the most talked-about topics in health care, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.