After spending years of watching my mother suffer from the effects of second-hand smoke, I am applauding CVS's decision to discontinue sales of tobacco products. 

In a bold move to safeguard lives and show their care for the health and well-being of Americans, CVS Pharmacies have removed all tobacco products from their shelves in the U.S.

CVS's parent company, CVS Caremark, is stepping forward to save lives and safeguard the public health of millions of American women, men and youth. The American Lung Association issued a press release commending company leaders for their forward-thinking decision to prioritize the health and well-being of current and future customers and employees and for helping create a tobacco-free generation of youth.

From the President of the American Lung Association, Harold Wimmer:

On behalf of the Lung Association's staff and volunteers, I commend CVS Caremark for making a tremendous contribution to the collective fight to make tobacco history.

The American Lung Association urges more retailers to take note of CVS's actions and join in efforts to help reduce access to tobacco and tobacco use, and eliminate tobacco-caused deaths and disease.

It's been 50 years since the release of the first Surgeon General's report that linked smoking with cancer and other diseases, and, sadly, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S., including lung cancer.   The American Lung Association says that there are 43.8 million smokers in the country today, and hopes that CVS Caremark's move catches on across the country and helps lower that number.

Tobacco-related diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), other cancers, heart disease and stroke kill almost half a million Americans each year. Everyone has a stake in reducing tobacco's terrible toll. By working to reduce access to tobacco products, every person and every company can play a role in helping end this toxic threat.

With the recent death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, talk of addictions sprang up again in our office.  One of my co-workers, who has experience with family members with addiction, reminded me that sometimes the addiction has too strong a hold on an individual.  After an addiction takes hold, my co-worker explained to me that an addicted individual will make every excuse in the world (from "it's my right" to "I'm an adult", just to name a few) to allow himself to continue with his addictive behavior.

Understanding that smoking is an addiction that is, in many instances, stronger than the addict, it is my hope that other drug stores and health care providers will follow suit, removing tobacco products from their shelves.  If we make it a little more difficult for non-smokers to pick up the habit, eventually we will have less smokers, resulting in cleaner air, a less-burdened health care system, and a healthier America.

For information about smoking and smoking cessation, your local American Lung Association office has resources for you.  Visit their website today to learn more.


(Via American Lung Association)