Hollings in the Headlines
The Evidence Against the Health Effects of Tobacco Mount and CVS Responds
"The landmark 50th Anniversary of the Surgeon General's Report was released on January 17, 2014. The Report continued to show that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, pulmonary disease, and several other chronic health conditions. The Report was the first to also show that continued smoking by cancer patients causes increased overall mortality and mortality from cancer.
CVS Caremark has now announced that it will no longer sell tobacco products starting October 1. "This is a landmark event by a major retailer to take a firm stand against the health effects of tobacco," says Dr. Graham Warren M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chairman for Research in Radiation Oncology and Chair of the Tobacco Oversight Committee at the Medical University of South Carolina. "For years, tobacco sales have represented a significant source of revenue for pharmacies, yet have contradicted the purpose of promoting health. I am extremely happy to see the active efforts by CVS to address what is one of the largest preventable causes of disease and death worldwide."
As quoted online, "Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose."
"The healthcare benefits associated with this decision are profound," says Dr. Michael Cummings, Ph.D. M.P.H., Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at MUSC. "This will limit access to tobacco products thereby preventing addiction and reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases associated with tobacco use. The economic benefits of this decision by CVS far outweigh the profits from tobacco sales."
"The decision by CVS to stop tobacco sales is an active move to make a difference," says Dr. Anthony Alberg, Ph.D. M.P.H., Professor and Endowed Blatt Ness Endowed Chair of Oncology. "This is a strong leadership position CVS has taken nationwide and now sets the standard for other healthcare retailers to follow to significantly improve the health of the nation."
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