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American Lung Association calls for halt of tobacco sales at pharmacies


The American Lung Association has called for a halt to the sale of all tobacco products at all retailers with pharmacies.

The American Lung Association has called for a halt to the sale of all tobacco products at all retailers with pharmacies.

Approximately 1 year ago, CVS Health announced that it would remove tobacco products at all CVS/pharmacy locations across the United States.

Read more: CVS Caremark changes name, ends tobacco sales early

“We are urging major retailers with pharmacies to prioritize health and stop selling tobacco products in their stores,” said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. “This is the first step toward a tobacco-free America, and a world free of lung disease.”

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in this country and selling tobacco products is inconsistent with (and actually counter to) a pharmacy’s mission of health and wellness, according to Wimmer.

Related: CVS: Expansion of MinuteClinics to offset tobacco revenue loss

Formulary managers have an important role to play in helping smokers quit by ensuring that health plans are covering all 7 FDA-approved quit-smoking medications and all 3 forms of quit-smoking counseling (individual, group and telephone), said Wimmer.

The 7 FDA-approved medications for smoking cessation are:

  • Nicotine patches

  • Nicotine gum

  • Nicotine nasal spray

  • Nicotine inhaler

  • Nicotine lozenge

  • Bupropion (Zyban and generic)

  • Varenicline (Chantix)

“In addition, they can work to help to ensure that there is support throughout their organizations for smoking cessation,” he said.

CVS/pharmacy, Target and Wegmans currently do not sell tobacco products.

Related: Teen smoking rates bode ill for future health

Every 2.5 minutes, someone in the United States is told that he or she has lung cancer, a disease that has one of the lowest survival rates compared to colon, breast and prostate cancers.

Join with the American Lung Association in the #MakeTobaccoHistory movement to urge retailers with pharmacies in your area to stop selling tobacco.

The American Lung Association resources and programs include Freedom From Smoking and Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNG-USA) or www.Lung.org.

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