Be The First
Together, we can help deliver the first tobacco-free generation.
We made history together
We’re helping deliver the first tobacco-free generation. As the nation’s largest health care innovation company, CVS Health is uniquely positioned to help people on their path to better health, which includes playing a leading role in helping people lead tobacco-free lives. That’s why, through our company and the CVS Health and Aetna Foundations, we’ve invested $50 million over the last five years, working with the nation’s leading anti-tobacco and youth organizations to support comprehensive education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming.
Since launching Be The First in 2016:
Reached 15 million youth through education, awareness, advocacy and health behavior programming
Helped youth in all 50 states become tobacco-free advocates
Supported more than 200 college campuses advocate for, adopt and implement smoke- and tobacco-free policies across the country through our Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (PDF)
These accomplishments have contributed to a 36% decline in new youth smokers and 3.5% decline in the youth smoking rate since 2016.
One of our main focus areas has been investing in tobacco-free resources for students, parents, teachers, schools and youth organizations. These tools and curricula cover topics including the dangers of tobacco, e-cigarette use, healthy behaviors, and advocacy training. We have compiled a list of our resources.
Though research from the CDC shows the percentage of high school students who are current cigarette smokers decreased in 2019, e-cigarette use is a growing concern. More than five million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarette, an increase from 3.6 million in 2018 and 1.5 million in 2017. We have an opportunity to help end this persistent issue affecting our youth, and to help this generation be the first tobacco-free generation.
We can’t do it aloneWe can’t do it alone
We've worked with the nation's leading tobacco prevention and youth-serving organizations through our Be The First Initiative, including the following:
American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Tobacco Prevention Toolkit
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
National Urban League
CATCH Global Foundation
American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
Yale Center for Health & Learning Games
American Academy of Pediatrics
Related tobacco-free news
CVS Health applauds FDA decision to propose ban of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigarsCVS Health applauded a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to propose a policy that would ban menthol cigarettes.Press Release - April 29, 2021
Five years of Be the FirstOn this episode of CVS Health Live, our expert panel from CVS Health's Be The First initiative explore efforts underway to address and prevent e-cigarette use among young people.Article - December 17, 2020
Tackling adolescent smoking and vapingYoung adults who use tobacco are more likely to contract COVID-19. Our work toward a tobacco-free generation continues.Article - December 10, 2020
CVS Health launches ‘Transform Health 2030’ corporate social responsibility strategy with its 13th annual CSR reportPress Release - May 14, 2020
New ‘Be Vape Free’ Initiative to Tackle Youth Vaping Epidemic Through SchoolsPress Release - December 17, 2019
Aetna Foundation Announces $1 Million in Grants to Boys & Girls Clubs in Providence and HartfordPress Release - December 5, 2019
CVS Health Applauds Rhode Island Ban on Flavored E-cigarettesPress Release - September 25, 2019
Helping colleges quit tobaccoIn this episode, we talk with students and faculty of two universities — the University of San Francisco and Temple University in Philadelphia — about how they’re eliminating tobacco from their campuses.Article - September 24, 2019
Five years ago, we made the bold decision to remove tobacco from our stores. That was just the beginning of many innovative steps we’ve taken since to make it easier for our customers and patients to achieve their best health.Article - September 3, 2019
CVS Health Strengthens Commitment to Helping People Lead Smoke-Free Lives, Five Years After Ending Tobacco SalesPress Release - September 3, 2019
Strengthening our commitment to help end tobacco useOur Chief Medical Officer and Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility share the impact of our decision to quit tobacco and how we’re expanding on that work going forward.Article - September 3, 2019
By the Numbers: Perceptions on Tobacco Use and SalesFive years after we quit, we partnered with Morning Consult to gauge how Americans view our role in curbing tobacco and vaping use and improving the health of communities nationwide.Article - September 3, 2019