The New “CVS Health” Gets It
Costco, CVS Health, GLOBALHealthPR, John Seng, Quitnet, smoking cessation, Spectrum, tobacco
In today’s post, John J. Seng, GLOBALHealthPR Chair and Spectrum Founder & CEO, discusses the recent actions of CVS, the first major US pharmacy retailer to stop selling tobacco products.
I was happy to read just now that HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell saluted CVS Health today for stamping out cigarette sales as of today, one month earlier than the company pledge of October 1.
Her statement is short enough to reprint here:
We applaud CVS Health for becoming tobacco-free and ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at its 7,700 CVS/pharmacy locations. CVS accomplished their goal one month ahead of their deadline of October 1.
We also commend CVS Health on the launch of their national and personalized smoking cessation program.
CVS Heath’s tobacco free policy is an unprecedented step in the retail industry, and will have an impact in bringing our country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation, a call to action that we announced in January.
We hope others will follow CVS Health’s lead in this important new step to curtail tobacco use.
“We hope others will follow CVS Health’s lead…” Hmmm, as I read that last sentence, I thought of another major retailer, err, wholesale warehouse concern which still has the chance to follow and do the right thing when it comes to reducing heart disease and cancer in the US: Costco Wholesale.
Exactly one year ago to the day that CVS Health pledged to end tobacco sales, October 1, I called for Costco to end tobacco sales in this article published in Medical, Marketing and Media.
While researching for the article, I discovered a web site for Costco’s extensive and free employee smoking cessation program called “Quitnet.”
“‘Quitnet’ provides employees and their families with 24-hour personalized support and coaching, smoking cessation guides, and free medications.”
Would that Costco follow its own advice to Costco employees, and quit tobacco?
But this company’s just a little hypocritical, because if you’re not a Costco employee, then please buy our tobacco.
Costco sells cigarettes to tobacco retailers at probably bigger bargains than anywhere else in nearly 450 stores across the U.S. And in four states, tobacco merchants can buy nearly 40 different brands of discount cigarettes in bulk, online, for resale purposes.
On the other hand, CVS Health demonstrates through quitting tobacco as of today, and changing its name from CVS/Caremark Corp., that it’s getting it
I love this quote from the CVS Health’s medical director Dr. Troyen Brennan, as published in Forbes today:
“…there is evidence developing that indicates that removing tobacco products from retailers with pharmacies will lead to substantially lower rates of smoking with implications for reducing tobacco-related deaths.”
Costco, are you listening? Or do you only care about the costs of health care when it’s your employees who are addicted to tobacco products?
-Originally published on September 4, 2014 at: http://www.spectrumscience.com/health-care-industry/the-new-cvs-health-gets-it/.