I applaud CVS’ leadership in promoting health and wellness in announcing that effective this October, their stores will no longer carry cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.
As a retail pharmacy with a national footprint, CVS stands poised to rise head and shoulders above its competitors with regards to “putting its money where its mouth is.” There is no place for tobacco within establishments such as pharmacies that have come to be identified with health and wellness. I encourage other pharmacies to follow suit and truly be beacons of health and wellness in their communities.
The life-changing impacts of tobacco use on health is clear – it is the number one preventable cause of heart disease, babies exposed to tobacco smoke are five times more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and those who smoke and have chronic illnesses are more likely to have poorer health outcomes than those who do not smoke.
Nearly a quarter of Baltimore City residents surveyed in 2011 reported that they were a current smoker. The city's Healthy Baltimore 2015 goal is to decrease the percentage of adults who currently smoke by 20%, and this decision by CVS, which has many Baltimore stores, will surely be a help as we strive to reach that goal.
Healthy Baltimore 2015 outlines 10 priority areas that account for the greatest preventable disease, disability and death and where we have identified goals to make Baltimore a healthier city in which to live, work and play. Among the areas that stand to benefit from this announcement include:
- Be Tobacco Free
- Promote Heart Health
- Create Health Promoting Neighborhoods
We look forward to working with CVS and any other pharmacy willing to take a stand in promoting wellness in their communities by eliminating the sale of tobacco in their establishments.
Take care, B’more.