WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Earlier this year, CVS Caremark – one of the largest pharmacy retailers in the U.S. – announced it would no longer sell tobacco in any of its stores in order to honor its mission to improve public health. Today, the company made that commitment crystal clear by changing its name to CVS Health, as 7,700 CVS pharmacy stubbed out tobacco sales -- one month ahead of schedule -- beating their original October 1, 2014 projections.
"CVS Health has taken this most welcome and unprecedented action to take tobacco off their shelves and it's 'game on' for all the other large pharmacy chains," said Robin Koval, CEO and president of Legacy. "Putting their money where their mouth is translates to a business model where public health and profits are complementary objectives. It's a strategy that truly puts consumers first – saving lives from the toll of one of the most lethal products available to consumers today," she said.
With today's announcement, CVS Health has also launched a new tailored smoking cessation effort aimed at gauging smoker's readiness to quit and arming them with the tools and pharmacotherapies that will help them do it successfully. Through its new comprehensive in-store program, including over 900 MinuteClinics, CVS Health aims to touch one million lives with the resources and support they'll need to finally become tobacco-free.
"There are 46 million smokers in the United States that are at risk of death and disease caused by tobacco. CVS's new national in-store program to help smokers quit dovetails perfectly with Legacy's new "Finish It" truth public education campaign. Both CVS and Legacy are working to empower people to make tobacco a thing of the past," Koval said.
"Just as smoking both indoors and out is becoming a thing of the past in many communities, we hope to see a domino effect where businesses devoted to health care also end tobacco sales and motivate their customers to live healthier lives," she said.
Legacy envisions an America where tobacco is a thing of the past, where all youth and young adults reject tobacco use. Legacy's proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Legacy also develops programs to address the health effects of tobacco use – with a focus on priority populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco – through alliances, youth activism, training and technical assistance. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.