One Year after Ending Tobacco Sales,… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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One Year after Ending Tobacco Sales, CVS Health Reports Measurable, Positive Impact – Responsible Retailers Must Follow Their Example

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
September 03, 2015


WASHINGTON, DC – One year after ending tobacco sales at all its stores, CVS Health today released a study showing that its bold action has had a direct, measurable and significant impact on the health of the communities it serves. The data show CVS’s decision has helped reduce the overall number of cigarettes purchased in states where it has a large market share.

These results demonstrate the difference one company can make when it takes courageous action to help fight tobacco use, the nation’s number one cause of preventable death. They also show why it is critical that other retailers follow CVS’s lead in ending tobacco sales and the dramatic impact such actions would have. Conversely, these results show the tremendous harm retailers cause to their communities when they continue to sell tobacco products.

These results make it increasingly untenable for responsible retailers – especially those in the business of providing health care services – to continue selling tobacco products. There is a fundamental conflict between a commitment to improving health and the continued sale of products that kill nearly half a million Americans every year and endanger the health of our children. We again call on other retailers, especially those with pharmacies such as Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid, to join CVS Health in ending tobacco sales.

We also urge parents and other consumers concerned about health to patronize retailers that don’t sell tobacco products. To help shoppers find the tobacco-free retailers nearest them, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids last year launched a new website – – with an interactive map that pinpoints the locations of tobacco-free retailers across the country. The website currently features 25 retail chains with nearly 14,000 separate store locations.

The CVS study, conducted by the CVS Health Research Institute, looked at cigarette purchases across all retailers in the eight months after CVS/pharmacy stopped selling tobacco products. The study found there was an additional one percent decrease in cigarette pack sales in states with a CVS/pharmacy market share of 15 percent or more, 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.

CVS Health’s decision to end tobacco sales is part of a comprehensive commitment the company has made to reducing tobacco use and improving the health of the communities it serves. Further demonstrating this commitment, CVS Health and its Foundation today also announced a partnership with Scholastic to introduce a school-based curriculum aimed at preventing youth smoking and teaching children about the health consequences of tobacco use.

In February, the CVS Health Foundation announced a partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to launch the “Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free” grant program, which supports organizations committed to implementing public health strategies to reduce youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand