My very first job was at a CVS store. I worked as a cashier there in high school and for 2 summers during college. As a cashier, I was responsible for restocking the cigarettes behind the counter…not a part of the job that I enjoyed, but it passed the time when we were slow. The area behind the counter was pretty narrow, and I would often have to step over and around cases of cigarettes while working. They sold quickly back then and my hands would smell of cigarettes after an evening of work.
I was impressed when I read the announcement yesterday that CVS stores would no longer be selling cigarettes. What an example this organization is setting, and I am hopeful that this will start a trend among other pharmacies and retailers.
"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," Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose."
Along with this news, the company has announced the launch of a smoking cessation plan this spring.
Well done, CVS!
According to the 2014 Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress, there are 12 cancers and 20 chronic diseases linked causally to smoking. It is encouraging that the prevalence of cigarette smoking has declined from 42% in 1962 to 18% in 2012 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014), however, it is even more encouraging that smoking cessation programs are continuing to be developed. There is more work to be done to educate the public and help people to not start smoking and to quit if they already do smoke.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014, January). 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014. Retrieved from SurgeonGeneral.Gov: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/50-years-of-progress-by-section.html