Incredible news for healthcare: CVS Caremark will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products in its more than 7,600 locations nationwide by October 1, CVS Caremark President and CEO Larry J. Merlo announced in a press release today. The company estimates that the removal of these products from shelves will result in a
The company has been expanding further and further into the healthcare business, and as such, "the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose," Merlo says. The press release references an article published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Viewpoint, which articulates the paradox of pharmacies--integral to healthcare and wellness, and increasingly more involved in providing medical care, counseling, and services--selling products known to be addictive and deadly. Experts estimate that smoking is the leading cause of premature disease and deaths in the United States, responsible for over 480,000 deaths annually. For more information on how smoking can wreck your health, read Your Body On Smoking, a primer on exactly what happens to your body when you smoke a cigarette.
"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," commented Helena B. Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy in the press release. "Removing tobacco products from our stores is an important step in helping Americans to quit smoking and get healthy."
In addition to removing cigarettes and tobacco products from their shelves, the company also announced that CVS will launch a smoking cessation campaign in the spring of 2015, available at most locations nationwide.
Do you need help or motivation to kick the deadly habit for good (or do you want to encourage a loved one to do so)? Here are essential tips to help you learn how to quit smoking. And if your concern is that quitting smoking will make you gain weight (not an uncommon excuse to keep lighting up, unfortunately), check out how to quit smoking without gaining weight. Yes, it's possible--and you won't regret it.