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American Lung Association Congratulates CVS for Removing All Tobacco Products from CVS/pharmacy Stores

Calls on Other Retailers to Halt Tobacco Sales

Statement of Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO, American Lung Association

(September 3, 2014) - Chicago, IL

The American Lung Association applauds CVS for removing cigarettes and all tobacco products from all CVS/pharmacy locations across the U.S. This is an important milestone for the health of the American people today and for generations to come.   

We are very pleased that CVS has accelerated its timeline to remove all tobacco products from its shelves. We urge all retailers – especially retailers with pharmacies – to follow CVS’s lead. This includes not selling any tobacco products and helping current tobacco users get the support they need to quit. By working to reduce access to tobacco products, every person and every company can play a role in helping to end tobacco-caused death and disease.

Fifty years after the release of the first Surgeon General’s report that linked smoking with cancer and other diseases, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S. Every year, almost half a million people die from tobacco-caused disease in the U.S. With our health and medical partners, the American Lung Association has called for urgent action by all levels of government to achieve three bold goals:

  • Reduce smoking rates, currently at about 18 percent, to less than 10 percent within 10 years;
  • Protect all Americans from secondhand smoke within five years; and
  • Ultimately eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.

CVS’s courageous move will help our nation achieve these goals.

There is much more work to be done to end the terrible tobacco epidemic. We urge the Obama administration to step up to protect the health of all Americans by finalizing the Food and Drug Administration regulation that would give the agency oversight authority of all tobacco products including cigars, electronic cigarettes, pipe tobacco, hookah and other tobacco products by the end of 2014.

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

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