February 5, 2014 (WASHINGTON, DC) — The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) applauds CVS Caremark’s announcement that it will stop selling tobacco products in its more than 7,600 stores. By removing tobacco products from its shelves, CVS Caremark joins a growing movement among health care providers to limit access to tobacco products.
“APhA is opposed to the sale of tobacco in pharmacies, as demonstrated by, significant policy urging the removal of tobacco products from pharmacies and facilities that include pharmacies,” stated Thomas E. Menighan, American Pharmacists Association Executive Vice President and CEO. “Pharmacists are health care providers and we must commit to limiting access to products that are known to cause disease and poor health. We are thrilled that CVS Caremark is making a courageous move by giving up tobacco sales in favor of moving the organization toward a focus on health and wellness. This action adds CVS Caremark to a long list of pharmacies that have already stopped the sale of these dangerous products”
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, resulting in more than 480,000 deaths each year. Despite this, an estimated 43.8 million Americas still smoke. Every day, more than 3,200 American youth smoke their first cigarette, and it's estimated that more than 700 of those youth will become daily smokers.
"We welcome CVS Caremark’s commitment to health and wellness and its promise to remove tobacco products from their stores,” commented Steven T. Simenson, APhA President and community pharmacist. “It has been 50 years since the first Surgeon General’s Report linked smoking and poor health, increasing our understanding of the devastating health and financial burdens of tobacco use. As pharmacists step up to provide care to their patients, we cannot continue to sell known health hazards in our pharmacies. To improve the health of all Americans, pharmacy professionals must step up and join the many pharmacies before them who have removed tobacco products from their shelves.”
If you are interested in quitting the use of tobacco products, APhA encourages you to talk to your pharmacist. Pharmacists are trained in the latest smoking cessation techniques and are available to help you chose a product, understand how it works and possible adverse effects and coaching resources to increase treatment success.