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PHI Statement on CVS Caremark Move to End Tobacco Sales

February 05, 2014

Statement from Mary A. Pittman, CEO and President, Public Health Institute

"The Public Health Institute applauds CVS Caremark for its decision today to stop the sale of tobacco products in its retail stores. CVS sets a high bar for other industries, showing courage and a commitment to prioritizing the health of its customers.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and globally. Tobacco is also the only legal substance that, when used as intended, kills 6.3 million people per year. Cigarette smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually and is a major contributor to the global pandemic of non-communicable diseases. Public Health Institute and its programs have a long history of working to protect children, families and individuals from the dangers of tobacco, both here in the US and globally.

CVS’s decision underscores the critical role of practices and policies in moving health forward. Retail taxes, smoke-free spaces, and decreasing access to retail tobacco products have all proven instrumental in reducing the number of tobacco users around the world. We hope other industries will follow their lead."