CVS Health announces $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2016-Mar-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), the nation’s largest pharmacy innovation company, today announced Be The First, a five-year $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation. Through this initiative, which is funded through CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation, the company is extending its commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives. Recognizing that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States and that youth use of some tobacco products is on the rise,Be The First comprises comprehensive education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming in partnership with organizations uniquely positioned to tackle this public health challenge.

“We are at a critical moment in our nation’s efforts to end the epidemic of tobacco use that continues to kill more people than any other preventable cause of death, and threatens the health and well-being of our next generation,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health. “Ensuring our youth stay tobacco-free requires increased education and awareness of healthy behaviors. We’re partnering with experts across the public health community who have established best practices to help prevent tobacco use. And, by establishing more public-private partnerships to implement these strategies more aggressively, we can help increase the number of people leading tobacco-free lives and move us one step closer to delivering the first tobacco-free generation.”

To help achieve these goals, CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation have enlisted the help of the nation’s leading anti-tobacco and youth organizations to support programs that each address a unique part of the tobacco epidemic many of which will be launching in the coming weeks. These include new and expanded tobacco education programming with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Scholastic Inc., as well as advocacy and tobacco-control initiatives with organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the National Urban League to accelerate declines in rates of smoking and other tobacco use among teens and young adults.

Be The First is directed at youth and young adults who use tobacco or who are at risk of becoming regular tobacco users, as well as the country’s 3 million elementary school children who, without early tobacco education, may become future tobacco users. It is also focused on continuing to support community-based cessation programs for adult smokers, who expose children to tobacco use in the home and other public venues that permit smoking.

To help guide the initiative, CVS Health is convening a national advisory group made up of a diverse group of thought leaders who will advise on trends, initiatives and strategies that help advance the company’s efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free. Members of the advisory group include: Aria Finger, CEO of DoSomething.org; Rosie Henson, Senior Vice President for Prevention and Early Detection at the American Cancer Society; Barry Hummel, Jr., MD, FAAP, Quit Doc Foundation; Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; Harold Paz, M.D., M.S., Chief Medical Officer for Aetna; Steve Schroeder, M.D., Director of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at the University of California San Francisco; and Aaron Zeiler, the 2015 Frank Karel Fellow in Public Interest Communications.

“Both the public health community and private sectors must work together if we are to advance a national strategy to end the tobacco epidemic, especially among our children,” said Matthew L. Myers, president, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We applaud CVS Health for continuing to demonstrate its leadership and commitment to helping people lead tobacco-free lives with this significant investment in the health and well-being of the next generation of Americans.”

CVS Health has set actionable and measurable goals over the next five years for its Be The First initiative, including contributing to a 3 percent decline in the national youth smoking rate, a 10 percent decline in the number of new youth smokers and doubling the number of tobacco-free college and university campuses.

Additionally, Be The First will support acampaign to encourage tobacco-free social media. The #BeTheFirst social campaign will include a variety of shareable videos, graphics, and digital tools that enable youth to express their commitment to “be the first” generation to lead tobacco-free lives and counter social media messaging and imagery that promotes youth tobacco use. Research shows that exposure to social media that depicts tobacco use predicts future smoking tendency, over and above the influence of TV and movie depictions of smoking. By helping to make the virtual world of social media tobacco-free, Be The First is helping to provide young people with the motivation to adopt and advocate for the same healthy behaviors in the physical world where it truly matters.

“We know that young people are committed to social change and making the world a better place that includes tackling issues like tobacco,” said Aria Finger, CEO of DoSomething.org, with 5 million members in 130 countries who participate in volunteer campaigns that impact every cause. “We’re proud to support CVS Health’s initiative to harness the power of young people and activate them to stop showcasing tobacco and e-cigarettes on social media. It’s amazing to see how passionate millennials are and how much of an impact they can have when addressing issues they care about.”

“Tobacco use, especially among our youth, is one of the most pressing public health issues that we face today,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy at CVS Health, and President of the CVS Health Foundation. “We’re pleased to bring additional resources and capabilities to the public health community and work collaboratively with our expert partners to help those who smoke to quit and to ensure that those who don’t smoke never start.”

Each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3,800 children under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette and more than 2,100 youth and young adults who have experimented with cigarettes become new regular, daily smokers. Additionally, 40.6% of children between the ages of 3 and 11 years old and 33.8% of kids 12-19 in the United States are exposed to cigarette smoke regularly, either in the home or in public places that permit tobacco use. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, if the rate in youth smoking and youth tobacco use is reduced, 5.6 million children alive today who ultimately will die early from smoking could live to a normal life expectancy.

For more information about Be The First and CVS Health’s broader commitment to tobacco-free living, please visit www.cvshealth.com/bethefirst.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its approximately 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 75 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Contact:

Joe Goode
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-9820, jlgoode@cvs.com

Mary Alfieri
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-9811, malfieri2@cvs.com

SOURCE CVS Health

 

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CVS Health announces $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation

CVS Health announces $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation

CVS Health marks one year since it ended tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy

  • New Data Shows Reduction in Cigarette Purchases Across All Retailers
  • CVS Health and its Foundation Announce School-based Tobacco-prevention Program

WOONSOCKET, R.I., 2015-9-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today marked the first anniversary of ending tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy by releasing new data showing a measurable reduction in cigarette purchases over the past year. The company also announced it is renewing its commitment to creating a tobacco-free generation through a joint initiative between CVS Health, its Foundation and Scholastic to launch a school-based tobacco-prevention program.

“One year ago, we stopped selling tobacco products because it conflicted with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “Today, we are excited to release new data demonstrating the positive impact our decision has had on public health overall as shown by a measurable decrease in the number of cigarette purchases across all retailers.”

The study, conducted by the CVS Health Research Institute, evaluated cigarette pack purchases at drug, food, big box, dollar, convenience and gas station retailers in the eight months after CVS/pharmacy stopped selling tobacco products. The study found an additional one percent reduction in cigarette pack sales in states where CVS/pharmacy had a 15 percent or greater share of the retail pharmacy market, compared to states with no CVS/pharmacy stores. Over the same eight-month period, the average smoker in these states purchased five fewer cigarette packs and, in total, approximately 95 million fewer packs were sold.

Further bolstering the impact of CVS/pharmacy’s tobacco removal, the CVS Health Research Institute study showed a four percent increase in nicotine patch purchases in the states with a CVS/pharmacy market share of 15 percent of more, in the period immediately following the end of tobacco sales. This indicates that there was also a positive effect on attempts to quit smoking.

“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,” Brennan said. “This new data demonstrates that CVS Health’s decision to stop selling tobacco did indeed have a real public health impact.”

The impact of CVS Health’s tobacco cessation efforts can also be measured in the reach of its pharmacists and nurse practitioners, who have worked to support customers’ efforts to quit smoking. Since September 3, 2014, the average number of MinuteClinic “Start to Stop” smoking cessation visits conducted per month nearly doubled. CVS pharmacists counseled more than 260,000 patients about smoking cessation and filled nearly 600,000 nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) prescriptions. The company also distributed millions of smoking cessation informational brochures and hundreds of thousands of “Last Pack” toolkits, and educated more than one million people via its Online Cessation Hub on CVS.com.

In the year since removing tobacco products, CVS Health also made a significant commitment to philanthropic giving and strategic partnerships, pledging more than $1 million in corporate grants to tobacco cessation and prevention programs. CVS Health and its Foundation also built on partnerships with organizations leading the fight against tobacco and supporting those living with its health consequences including Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Stand Up To Cancer, and American Lung Association’s LUNGFORCE.

In celebration of the past year’s success, CVS Health has made new commitments to further its impact in the coming years. Today, CVS Health and its Foundation also announced a strategic initiative with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, to introduce a new, school-based program aimed at preventing youth smoking and teaching children about the health consequences of tobacco use.

“Over the last year, CVS Health has created partnerships with community organizations across the country that are dedicated to helping people quit smoking and communicating the importance of never starting tobacco use,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health and President, CVS Health Foundation. “Today, we are proud to mark our one-year anniversary by building on our commitment to be a meaningful part of the effort to make the next generation tobacco-free. By partnering with an expert partner in education to launch this new program, we will reach millions of kids across the country with critical tobacco-prevention education.”

The program will reach nearly three million children in grades three, four and five when it begins this fall, with a second component offered in some pilot markets for young adults in grades six and seven to be introduced in early 2016. It will include classroom resources for teachers and students as well as take-home components that give parents the opportunity to talk to their children about smoking. The middle school component will include a student engagement program, with the chance to receive incentives such as scholarships and youth-focused community training.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 7,800 retail pharmacies, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts:

Erin Shields Britt
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

Carolyn Castel
(401) 770-5717
Carolyn.Castel@CVSHealth.com

 

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CVS Health marks one year since it ended tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy

CVS Health marks one year since it ended tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy