Cancer society: CVS tobacco-sale stoppage may help smokers quit

CVS Caremark's plan to kick the habit of selling tobacco products may help its customers also kick the habit. Photo courtesy of the National Institutes of Health.

SALT LAKE CITY – Utahns who smoke may have an easier time quitting now that CVS Caremark plans on ending all tobacco sales, according to Shane Ferraro, media relations manager, American Cancer Society of Utah. He said CVS customers struggling to kick the habit will have less tobacco temptation when at the store.

“That’s one of the reasons why CVS has decided to do this,” Ferraro said. “They’re a health-focused organization and while they were doing things to help people get better, there were those products that are causing people health problems.”

CVS Caremark plans to cease all tobacco sales by October 1 at all 7,600 stores. The company reportedly said selling cigarettes is no longer compatible with its expansion of in-store health care services.

President Obama applauded CVS, calling the move a powerful example that helps in the battle to reduce the deaths and illnesses linked to smoking. 

Ferraro said it may also put pressure on CVS’ major competitors, such as Walgreens, to follow suit and kick the habit of selling tobacco products.

“We definitely think so and we would like to applaud CVS Caremark. They’re showing leadership in the industry and we would encourage others to follow suit,” Ferraro said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 40 million Americans smoke and more than 400,000 die from a smoking-related illness each year. 

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