CVS has taken the bold step ahead of its October deadline of removing tobacco products from its shelves.
The company also is changing its name from CVS Caremark to CVS Health. Customers should see a greater emphasis on better health.
It starts with the CVS website pushing smoking cessation. “Let’s Quit Together,” a headline on a company web page states.
“We quit cigarettes,” type adds. “Now, we want to help you do the same. Whatever your reason for quitting, we’ll guide you with personal stories, live advice, tips on what’s next and more.”
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction) and diabetes. More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking. Cigarette smoking is results in more than 480,000 deaths annually in the United States, including about 41,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure.
In the roughly 7,700 CVS stores nationwide, tobacco products have been replaced with nicotine gum and signs urging customers to kick the smoking habit. The February announcement of CVS kicking its tobacco-selling habit is a radical, risky move by the nation’s second largest drugstore chain with losses of $2 billion in annual revenue attached.
People who want to continue smoking will travel to CVS’ competitors. They have a right to do that.
But CVS is doing the right thing in pushing to improve the health of Americans. It just needs the other drugstores to join the initiative.