Our corporate mission at MinuteClinic, as part of CVS Caremark, is to help put people on a path to better health. One of the ways we carry out this mission is to help our patients live tobacco-free lives. We want to let you know that CVS Caremark announced that cigarettes and other tobacco products will no longer be sold at our more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores by October 1, 2014.
In this evolving healthcare landscape, retail health clinics and pharmacies have become more involved in the management of chronic diseases, helping patients with conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. The truth of the matter is, all of these chronic health conditions can be made worse by smoking, which causes more than 480,000 deaths in the U.S., annually. Because of this, we feel that removing tobacco products from our shelves is the right thing for CVS Caremark to do for our patients and customers.
The decision to stop selling tobacco products is in alignment with the views from the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and American Lung Association, who have all publicly opposed tobacco sales in retail destinations with pharmacies.
As you may be aware, MinuteClinic currently offers a personalized smoking cessation program in our more than 800 clinic locations inside CVS/pharmacy stores in 28 states and DC. Our program provides personalized counseling and ongoing support from trained nurse practitioners and physician assistants to help support patients on their journey to a tobacco-free lifestyle. We’re proud to say that CVS Caremark will be launching a smoking cessation program this spring to compliment this, with the goal of helping millions of Americans across the nation quit smoking. We plan to share more details on this national program in the coming months.
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