U.S – CVS Pharmacy joined a healthy cause a year ago and from this point of view they stopped selling cigarettes in their stores across the United States. According to a new study made by CVS Health Research Institute, the company’s move was associated with 1 percent reduction in cigarette pack sales, claiming every smoker reduce smoking by 0.14 packs per month.

CVS/Pharmacy is the second largest pharmacy chain in the U.S. Thus, their decisions have a big impact in americans. The company not only stopped selling tobacco but also launched a support campaign directed to smokers, encouraging them to quit with several options, from nicotine replacement therapy products to online resources.

Smokers walk past a CVS Pharmacy n New York City on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. CVS is the retail division of CVS Caremark.
Smokers walk past a CVS Pharmacy n New York City on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. CVS is the retail division of CVS Caremark.

“We know that more than two-thirds of smokers want to quit and that half of smokers try to quit each year. We also know that cigarette purchases are often spontaneous. And so we reasoned that removing a convenient location to buy cigarettes could decrease overall tobacco use.” said Troyen Brennan, CVS Health Chief Medical Officer in a news release.

Furthermore, smoking has been the leading cause of preventable death and disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 480,000 people died from smoking each year. And nearly 70% of smokers try to quit every year. Moreover, according to Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics and CDC the average of smokers in U.S has reduced now to around 15% of the american population. But there’s still 42.1 million current smokers in the country, from them 76.9% smoked every day and the 23.1% remaining smoked only some days, according to a CDC survey.

After a year of tobacco sales removal

CVS collected data that showed effective response from restricting tobacco access, they realized that excise taxes, advertising limitations and even age restrictions, as well restricting the locations where tobacco can be used, increases a successful quitting and reduction of the person’s consumption.

Two questions were raised at the time of the study. First, compared to states with no CVS stores: What was the impact of the tobacco sales removal on cigarette pack purchases in states that have CVS stores?. Second, How does that impact of tobacco sales restriction vary depending on CVS market share in a given state?

Data collected

The research demonstrated that effectively in States where CVS had a 15 percent or more share of the retail pharmacy market, unlike any other state with no CVS stores, 1 percent of the pack sales reduced. Also, through the research time, the study revealed that the average smoker where CVS sets, bought five fewer cigarette packs which gives a rough number of 95,245,308 fewer packs. “This new data demonstrates that CVS Health’s decision to stop selling tobacco did indeed have a real public health impact.” said Brennan.

Further campaigns

Over the last year, the pharmacy chain has created partnerships with community organizations all over U.S that help smokers quitting and discuss the importance of never develop the killing habit. Currently, they’re looking forward to a new generation of tobacco-free. In order to do that they partnered and expert in education to launch a new awareness program. that hopefully will reach millions of kids across the country with critical tobacco prevention education.

CEO from American Heart Association, Nancy Brown spoke her thoughts “Today’s announcement is precisely the type of strategic initiative we need to create a tobacco-free generation. The effect of these efforts on reducing heart disease and stroke is tremendous. Imagine the impact on our nation’s health if other companies were to follow CVS Health’s lead and embrace similar commitment to health.”

Source: CVS Health