CVS Caremark to Stop Selling Tobacco at all CVS/pharmacy Locations


CVS Caremark announced today that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores across the U.S. by October 1, 2014, making CVS/pharmacy the first national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers.

Smoke Free: Photograph courtesy of the CDCSmoke Free: Photograph courtesy of the CDCCVS Caremark announced today that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores across the U.S. by October 1, 2014, making CVS/pharmacy the first national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers.

CVS Caremark's decision to stop selling tobacco products is consistent with the positions taken by the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and American Pharmacists Association that have all publicly opposed tobacco sales in retail outlets with pharmacies.

"Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Caremark.

"Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose."


CVS Makes Game-Changing Move in Tobacco Prevention from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Merlo continued, "As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs… the significant action we're taking today by removing tobacco products from our retail shelves further distinguishes us in how we are serving our patients, clients and health care providers and better positions us for continued growth in the evolving health care marketplace."

Smoking is the leading cause of premature disease and death in the United States with more than 480,000 deaths annually. While the prevalence of cigarette smoking has decreased from approximately 42 percent of adults in 1965 to 18 percent today, the rate of reduction in smoking prevalence has stalled in the past decade. More interventions, such as reducing the availability of cigarettes, are needed.

"CVS Caremark is continually looking for ways to promote health and reduce the burden of disease," said CVS Caremark Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H. "Stopping the sale of cigarettes and tobacco will make a significant difference in reducing the chronic illnesses associated with tobacco use."

In a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Viewpoint published online this morning, Brennan and co-author Steven A. Schroeder, Director, Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California, San Francisco, wrote, "The paradox of cigarette sales in pharmacies has become even more relevant recently, in large part because of changes in the pharmacy industry.


“Most pharmacy chains are retooling themselves as an integral part of the health care system. They are offering more counseling by pharmacists, an array of wellness products and outreach to clinicians and health care centers.

“Perhaps more important, pharmacies are moving into the treatment arena, with the advent of retail health clinics. These retail clinics, originally designed to address common acute infections, are gearing up to work with primary care clinicians to assist in treating hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes all conditions exacerbated by smoking."

"As a leader of the health care community focused on improving health outcomes, we are pledging to help millions of Americans quit smoking," said Merlo. "In addition to removing cigarettes and tobacco products for sale, we will undertake a robust national smoking cessation program."

The program, to be launched this Spring, is expected to include information and treatment on smoking cessation at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic along with online resources. The program will be available broadly across all CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations and will offer additional comprehensive programs for CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management plan members to help them to quit smoking. Approximately seven in ten smokers say they want to quit and about half attempt to quit each year.

"Every day, all across the country, customers and patients place their trust in our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners to serve their health care needs," commented Helena B. Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy. "Removing tobacco products from our stores is an important step in helping Americans to quit smoking and get healthy."

The company estimates that it will lose approximately $2 billion in revenues on an annual basis from the tobacco shopper, equating to approximately 17 cents per share. Given the anticipated timing for implementation of this change, the impact to 2014 earnings per share is expected to be in the range of 6 to 9 cents per share….This decision more closely aligns the company with its patients, clients and health care providers to improve health outcomes while controlling costs and positions the company for continued growth.

About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. For these statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company strongly recommends that you become familiar with the specific risks and uncertainties outlined in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including those in the Risk Factors section in our Annual Report on Form10-K for the year ended December31, 2012 and under the section entitled "Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements" in our most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form10-Q.

This news is from CVS Caremark, 5 February 2014, published on the Horizon International Solutions Site on 5 February 2014.



From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death, disease, and disability in the US. Each year, around 443,000 people die from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million suffer from a serious illness from smoking. Two new CDC reports indicate that, despite the dangers of tobacco use, about 46.6 million adults in the US smoke, and 88 million nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke. Accessed 4 February 2014

More than 1 out of 2 kids (aged 3–11 years) are exposed to secondhand smoke.


About Vital Signs

Available at

An important new program at CDC is called CDC Vital Signs, launched July 6, 2010. This program is a call to action each month concerning a single, important public health topic. The program consists of several parts, including (1) an MMWR Early Release the first Tuesday of every month; (2) A professionally designed Fact Sheet for consumer audiences, a dedicated website that mirrors the Fact Sheet on the topic; (3) a media release; and (4) a series of announcements via social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) CDC believes that by focusing on a single topic using multiple media devices, the states might better identify these health problems in their area and work towards their improvement. Vital Signs will be released the first Tuesday of every month. Topics will include colorectal and breast cancer screening, obesity, alcohol and tobacco use, access to health care, HIV testing, seat belt use, cardiovascular disease, teen pregnancy and healthcare-associated infections, asthma, and foodborne disease.

CDC Statistics:

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

•       Cigarette smoking causes more than 440,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is about one in five deaths.2,3,4

•       Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in men1,2 and 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in women.1 More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.6

About 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are caused by smoking.1 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004 [accessed 2013 Dec 17].)



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