To the Editor:
I was very excited to wake up this morning and hear the news that CVS made the decision to stop selling tobacco. Just think, there will be 7,600 more pharmacies in the United States that are tobacco-free pharmacies. CVS is setting a powerful precedent that a pharmacy should be promoting the health and wellbeing of its clients consistently throughout their store. Tobacco-related illnesses are the number one cause of death in the United States.
Think about it, you go to buy nicotine patches at a pharmacy to help you quell your tobacco addiction and they are behind the counter right next to the cigarettes. Without tobacco products behind the counter those trying to quit will no longer have to face a trigger to make a tobacco impulse purchase. Also, kids who shop with parents will no longer see tobacco imagery and marketing that makes smoking look cool and not as dangerous. For every one person who dies from a tobacco related illness two people must replace them for the tobacco industry to stay profitable and 90% of new smokers are under the age of 18. There have been studies that show that kids who shop regularly at stores with tobacco advertising have an increased chance of starting to smoke. Thanks to CVS more kids will be tobacco free because they won’t be exposed to tobacco marketing.
For decades, tobacco control and health advocates have been fighting the tobacco industry diligently and that work is paying off. Over the past 50 years we have whittled away at the ways in which the tobacco industry markets, especially how they market to kids. If kids start using tobacco they will not have to quit, they won’t have to deal with the struggle with nicotine addiction. That means we will have less adult smokers and we will see a decrease in state and federal spending on tobacco related illnesses in our health care costs.
I’m happy that CVS has become a health care champion by taking a stand that they will no longer sell the poison and the antidote too.