CVS Health announced on Wednesday that all tobacco products have been pulled from CVS/pharmacy locations across the nation, including Turlock.
The company, which also announced that it changed its corporate name from CVS Caremark to CVS Health, originally announced the plan to pull tobacco products in February.
CVS Health ended sales of tobacco sales nearly a month prior to the original Oct. 1 target date, and is the first national pharmacy chain to kick the habit of selling tobacco products in-store.
“The sale of tobacco in a retail pharmacy conflicts with the purpose of the health care services delivered there,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “Even more important, there is evidence developing that indicates that removing tobacco products from retailers with pharmacies will lead to substantially lower rates of smoking with implications for reducing tobacco-related deaths.”
In addition to removing all tobacco products from CVS/pharmacy locations, CVS Health started a personalized smoking cessation campaign to help Americans quit smoking.
“Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and protect the health of your family, but quitting isn’t easy,” said Helena Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy.
The program includes four key components: an assessment of the smoker’s readiness to quit, education to give smokers the information and tools they need to quit, medication support to help curb the desire to use tobacco, and coaching to help individuals stay motivated and prevent relapses.
“Today should mark a call to action by all retailers involved in health care,” said Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We urge other retailers with pharmacies to follow the powerful example set by CVS/pharmacy and end tobacco sales.”
In February, the company estimated that it would lose approximately $2 billion in annual revenue by removing cigarette and tobacco products.