Delivering Smoking Cessation Services to More People

The numbers are alarming:

  • Nearly 40 million American adults still smoke – despite the evidence of the dangers of tobacco use

  • Almost 500,000 Americans die prematurely each year either because they themselves smoked or were exposed to second-hand smoke

  • Smoking-related diseases cost the U.S. nearly $170 billion in medical care each year

  • Even nine years after being diagnosed with cancer, nearly 10 percent of survivors still smoke cigarettes – and more than 80 percent smoke dailyAmerican Lung Association.

“These numbers underscore the need for a collaborative approach to tobacco-free living,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy at CVS Health, and President of the CVS Health Foundation. "We're pleased to bring additional resources and capabilities to the public health community and work collaboratively with our expert partners to help those who smoke to quit and to ensure that those who don't smoke never start."

These resources include:

Grants to Cancer Hospitals

In 2017, the CVS Health Foundation will invest nearly $1 million to address smoking cessation in the oncology setting across several of the nation's leading cancer hospitals. Grants will fund educational videos, smoking cessation apps, and enhanced screening protocols. In addition, funds will support the hiring of wellness coaches and tobacco treatment specialists, enabling each cancer institute to reach more at-risk patient populations.

The partnership is one component of Be The First, our five-year, $50 million commitment to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation. Be The First is funded through CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation, and comprises comprehensive anti-smoking education, tobacco control advocacy and healthy behavior programming in partnership with organizations uniquely positioned to tackle this public health challenge.  

Lung Force

CVS Health has been a presenting sponsor for the American Lung Association’s (ALA) LUNG FORCE since the program’s inception in 2014. Through our annual in-store campaign, customers can help support ALA’s vital mission of tobacco prevention and cessation education, research and advocacy.

Quick Facts

  • Quit-smoking counseling and nicotine replacement therapies, when used in combination, can double your chances of quitting for good.
  • The number of people smoking has decreased, but there are still 36.5 million current smokers in the United States.
  • Among current smokers, 70 percent want to quit and more than 40 percent will try to quit this year.

Start to Stop

We are also continuing our focus on supporting community-based cessation programs for adult smokers.

In addition, adults aged 18 and older can take advantage of additional tobacco cessation services through MinuteClinic. Studies show that smokers assisted by a health care provider have a greater chance of quitting smoking, so we created the Start to Stop® program. The program is delivered by our nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and includes:

  • One-on-one consultation with a practitioner, including a nicotine-dependence assessment

  • Individualized smoking cessation plan and education based on individual needs and goals

  • Ongoing coaching and support in efforts to quit smoking

  • Nicotine-replacement recommendations or prescriptions written when clinically appropriate

“When a smoker quits, everyone wins,” said Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer, MinuteClinic, and Vice President, CVS Health. “It not only improves the smoker’s health, it reduces health risks to others by helping to reduce second-hand smoke exposure. Our Start to Stop program offers the extra support smokers need to quit successfully.”

No one ever said that quitting tobacco is easy, but we don’t want anyone to go it alone. For more information about our efforts, visit our Tobacco Prevention & Cessation information center.