CVS Health issued the following announcement on Nov. 15.
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), the nation's first and only national pharmacy chain to have eliminated the sale of tobacco products from its retail stores, today announced its support for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's plans to restrict access to flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products in the retail setting and impose stricter age-verification requirements for online sales. In addition to eliminating the sale of tobacco products in 2014, CVS Health has never sold e-cigarettes or vaping devices in any of its CVS Pharmacy locations.
"We applaud the FDA's decision to restrict access to flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products, which have been expertly marketed and targeted at teens and young adults and has contributed to a dramatic rise in e-cigarette use among high school students," said Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H. and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health. "E-cigarette use among teens has also been directly correlated to a spike in cigarette smoking, after reaching historic lows. Through these new regulations, the FDA can help curb the e-cigarette epidemic and make a positive impact on public health for generations to come."
CVS Health has a long history of helping people lead tobacco-free lives, with a recent focus on educating young people on the dangers of smoking and the use of e-cigarettes. Recognizing the impact the company could have on reducing smoking and tobacco use following its tobacco exit in 2014, CVS Health launched Be The First, a five-year $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation.
Through partnerships with Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, CATCH Global Foundation, Stanford Medicine, and Truth Initiative, CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation are currently funding and supporting several programs that educate students on e-cigarettes and help them build knowledge and skills to resist peer pressure and marketing influences to try e-cigarettes. Most recently, the company launched a campaign with DoSomething.org to empower young people to speak up against e-cigarette flavoring and marketing towards youth.
Since it was first introduced in 2016, Be The First has delivered meaningful support to the country's ongoing efforts to prevent smoking and nicotine addiction among youth which is critical to ending tobacco use in the United States.
By funding programs with the nation's leading tobacco control advocates, including the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and Truth Initiative, CVS Health and its Foundation has helped reach more than 5 million young people with effective anti-smoking education and healthy behavior programming and is helping 146 colleges and universities advocate for, adopt and implement tobacco-free campus policies.
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