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Wave Of Praise For CVS Decision To Stop Selling Cigarettes; What’s Next?

(Twitter)

(Twitter)

From President Obama to the American Medical Association, praise is ringing through the land for CVS Caremark’s announcement today that it will stop selling tobacco products even though that will cost the company some $2 billion in revenue. USA Today reports here that CVS found tobacco sales incompatible with its goal of promoting wellness:

“Selling tobacco is very inconsistent with being in that business,” said Helena Foulkes, CVS’s president. “We really thought about this decision as it relates to the future as a health company — it’s good for customers and our company, in the long run.”

Just to highlight a couple of the positive responses:

The Harvard School of Public Health tweets: “CVS will quit selling tobacco–an important step in fighting smoking and improving health. Bravo!”

A statement from Dr. Ronald Dunlap, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, reads in part:

The announcement that CVS Caremark will no longer sell tobacco products in its stores is a welcome and exciting step in the continuing campaign against the leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in the United States. Following on the heels of the U.S. Surgeon General’s 50th anniversary report on tobacco issued last month, this decision represents a milestone in tobacco prevention efforts by eliminating the availability of tobacco at more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy locations nationwide.

It has long been the position of the Massachusetts Medical Society that the sale of such products in health care facilities is inconsistent and contradictory with health and well-being.

As a cardiologist for 34 years, I have seen the devastating effects of tobacco on too many patients for far too long. Heart and respiratory diseases, stroke, and other disorders related to smoking have taken a huge toll. Continue reading