The Department of Health and Human Services applauds CVS Caremark Corp. for their groundbreaking leadership in helping to make the next generation tobacco-free.
CVS Caremark’s announcement that CVS/pharmacy stores will no longer sell cigarettes and other tobacco products is an unprecedented step in the retail industry. HHS also commends CVS Caremark on their new national smoking cessation program. With more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy locations, this private sector health leader’s new policy will have considerable impact.
Last month, HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius called on all sectors of the United States – from businesses to local and state governments to the faith community – to join in the Obama Administration’s sustained effort to make the next generation tobacco-free. Smoking takes an enormous toll on friends, families and communities. The recently released 50th Anniversary Surgeon General Report on smoking and health stated that nearly 500,000 Americans die early each year due to smoking, and smoking costs $289 billion annually. Each day, more than 3,200 youth under age 18 in the United States try their first cigarette and more than 700 kids under age 18 become daily smokers. 5.6 million American children alive today will die prematurely due to smoking.
Industry, and all adults need an all-hands-on-deck effort to take tobacco products out of the hands of America’s young generation, and to help those who are addicted to quit. Today’s CVS Caremark announcement helps bring the country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation.
Additional recent tobacco-related announcements from the Department of Health and Human Services:
Surgeon General report says 5.6 million U.S. children will die prematurely unless current smoking rates drop:
FDA launches its first national public education campaign to prevent, reduce youth tobacco use:
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