Strengthening Our Commitment to Help End Tobacco Use

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Five Years Since Exiting Tobacco, Focus Expanding to Other Challenges

This article was authored by CVS Health Chief Medical Officer Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., and Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy for CVS Health. 

Five years ago, we decided to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products in all CVS Pharmacy locations. It was the first step toward building an innovative health care company driven by a purpose — helping people on their path to better health. Since then, CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation announced a multi-year $50 million Be The First initiative to help create the first tobacco-free generation.

On the anniversary of our original decision, we are expanding the program to tackle the growing problem of youth vaping with additional investments and new partners. We’re also bringing our smoking cessation expertise to areas across our businesses, with an expanded focus in 2020 on increasing effective smoking cessation approaches in Medicaid plans, including in Aetna Better Health managed Medicaid plans and together with CVS Caremark clients interested in creating or expanding smoking cession efforts for their Medicaid members.

Demonstrable Positive Impact on Tobacco Use

Our decision to exit tobacco led to a meaningful and measurable decline in cigarette smoking. Within 12 months, in states where CVS Pharmacy had at least 15 percent of the market share, consumers had purchased 100 million fewer packs of cigarettes, according to research we published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) in 2017.https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303612?journalCode=ajph Households that purchased cigarettes exclusively at CVS Pharmacy were 38 percent more likely to stop buying cigarettes, and those consumers who bought more cigarettes (>3 packs a month) were more than twice as likely to stop buying them.1

Within 12 months of ending cigarette and tobacco product sales in all CVS Pharmacy locations: Consumers purchased 100M fewer packs of cigarettes.In states where CVS Pharmacy had at least 15 percent of the market share.

These findings clearly indicate the positive public health impact of our decision. It is also significant because even though cigarette smoking has been on the decline, many consumers still struggle with nicotine use. In a recent CVS Health research study, 39 percent of consumers said they, or a family member or friend, have struggled with nicotine use — such as cigarettes or vaping — in the past five years. Of consumers aged 35–50, nearly half — 45 percent — said they struggle with nicotine use. Forty percent of millennials said they did as well.

Need for Greater Action on Tobacco

Cigarette smoking continues to be responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S.3 The total economic cost of smoking is more than $300 billion a year.https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm Clearly, more needs to be done to help our country quit tobacco. The AJPH recognized our research paper as one of the journal’s winners of the 2017 Paper of the Year, for contributing, “to our knowledge and understanding of a significant public health issue.”https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2017.304134

In announcing their decision, the AJPH judges stated the research “added to the population health road map by illustrating that there are many sectors, including private, that have levers to pull to positively influence population health.”

If other stakeholders joined us in exiting tobacco, it could have an even more profound public health impact.

Vaping, an Emerging and Growing Threat

Even as cigarette smoking has been on the decline, use of vaping products — introduced as alternatives to cigarette smoking and often marketed as a “safer” option by manufacturers — has been on the rise. This is concerning because there is increasing evidence that vaping poses serious health risks.https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-vaping/vaping-impacts-blood-vessels-even-without-nicotine-idUSKCN1VA29Thttps://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/08/16/mystery-lung-illness-linked-vaping-health-officials-investigating-nearly-possible-cases/?noredirect=on

According to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 3.6 million middle and high school students were e-cigarette users, a dramatic increase from the more than 1.5 million students the previous year.https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/youth-and-tobacco/youth-tobacco-use-results-national-youth-tobacco-survey This represents a 78 percent increase among high school students, and a 48 percent increase among middle school students.

What’s even more disturbing is that the risks of vaping may not be well known or understood. Each day, we are learning more about the potential adverse health effects that may be linked to vaping.https://www.nap.edu/resource/24952/012318ecigaretteConclusionsbyEvidence.pdf Findings from a Morning Consult survey, sponsored by CVS Health, show that nearly eight in 10 Americans consider tobacco to be very harmful to one’s health, while just over half – 52 percent – consider vaping very harmful to one’s health.

Ongoing, Expanded Focus Reducing All Tobacco Use

As a health care innovation company, and as a reflection of our purpose to help people on their path to better health, we do not sell vaping products at any CVS Pharmacy location. After years of decline in the youth smoking rate, today young adults who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to begin smoking traditional cigarettes, according to the Truth Initiative.https://truthinitiative.org/research-resources That’s why, we are is expanding our focus to aggressively tackle this growing epidemic with new partnerships and funding.

We are expanding our focus to aggressively tackle the growing epidemic of youth vaping. 

Today, the Aetna Foundation is pledging an additional $2 million to provide educational materials and tools to prevent smoking and vaping to thousands of clinicians who are part of organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Medical Association and the National Association of School Nurses.

This builds on a $10 million commitment announced in June to combat vaping. As part of that effort, the CVS Health Foundation is partnering with Discovery Education and the CATCH Global Foundation, to create an educational curriculum on the dangers of vaping for middle school students that will be made available to every school district in the U.S. These resources will also be made available to parents at no cost. These anti-vaping initiatives build on the accomplishments of the Be The First program to date, including reaching nearly 13 million young people, helping more than 200 colleges and universities in their efforts to go tobacco free, and funding the first-ever vaping cessation program in partnership with the Truth Initiative.

As we look to 2020, we plan to expand our tobacco-cessation expertise, particularly within the Medicaid program where smoking rates are considerably higher than among all adults. More than a quarter (25.3) of all Medicaid enrollees smoke compared to 11.8 percent of people enrolled in private insurance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6713a3.htm A recent study by University of California San Francisco also found that reducing smoking and its associated health effects among Medicaid recipients in each state by just 1 percent would save the Medicaid program an estimated $2.6 billion within one year.https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2019/04/413921/medicaid-could-save-26-billion-within-year-if-just-1-percent-recipients-quit

Ending tobacco sales and addressing the e-cigarette epidemic are just the beginning of our broader effort to transform the delivery of health care, one individual and one community at a time. By proactively addressing consumer health needs, we are building a transformative health care company that will engage consumers when and where they need care, help people achieve better health at a lower cost and help simplify a complicated health care system.

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By the Numbers: Perceptions on Tobacco Use and Sales

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Five years ago, CVS Health quit selling all tobacco products and made a commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives. We are proud that we took this step in support of the health and well-being of our customers and the 10,000 communities we serve. 

As part of this important milestone, 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. With the survey revealing that more than three-quarters of Americans consider tobacco use as very harmful to their health, our commitment could not be more critical. 

Our decision helps fulfill our purpose of helping people on their path to better health. And Americans agree. Currently, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe our decision to stop selling tobacco products reduces the risk of chronic disease (65 percent) and addresses public health disparities (also 65 percent).

Our Role in Curbing Tobacco Use 

Stepping away from tobacco products allowed us to see positive outcomes almost immediately. For example, the elimination of pharmacy-associated tobacco products, complemented by a devoted smoking cessation program, led to people to purchasing 100 million fewer packs of cigarettes — or 2 billion cigarettes — within just one year. 

The survey revealed that Americans understand the value and promise of our decision to remove tobacco products from our stores, and believe that we have a key role in limiting access to tobacco and e-cigarette products. More than half of Americans (62 percent) agree that retailers, like CVS Pharmacy, can play a key role in improving tobacco cessation — and that belief is even stronger among non-smokers (68 percent) and non-smokers with children (also 68 percent). 

Furthermore, the survey demonstrated:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) of Americans are more likely to support a retailer that ends tobacco and e-cigarette sales; and

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans say that a retailer ending the sale of tobacco and vaping products improves the health of their community.

Strategies to Reduce Tobacco Use  

It is our goal to help those who smoke quit and ensure those who don’t, never start. The survey underscored the importance of the role we play in tobacco cessation and prevention. Americans expressed widespread support for improving community education about the dangers of smoking (81 percent) and restricting marketing tactics for vaping that target youth (80 percent).

CVS Health has made significant investments in cessation and prevention programs across the nation, with a focus on tobacco prevention for youth. For example:

  • We launched a $50-million dollar initiative to help prevent youth smoking and create the first tobacco-free generation. This work has helped more than 200 colleges and universities on their journey to become tobacco free and has delivered cutting-edge tobacco education to millions of young people.

  • Recently, we launched an aggressive plan to combat increased youth vaping, which has increased 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students between 2017 and 2018.

  • We committed to the Quit Big Tobacco pledge in April — joining more than 200 organizations vowing to not work with any marketing and public relations agencies that have ties with the tobacco industry.

We look forward to continuing our work to create the first tobacco-free generation and promoting better health in communities nationwide.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Working Towards a Tobacco-Free Future

Working Towards a Tobacco-Free Future
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Part of our commitment to building healthier communities is helping people live tobacco-free lives. One of the best ways we can support the health of our communities and fulfill our purpose of helping people on their path to better health is to help those who smoke quit and ensure those who don’t, never start.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nine out of 10 smokers first try cigarette smoking by age 18, and 98 percent first try smoking by age 26 — establishing extended tobacco use patterns.https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/youth_data/tobacco_use/index.htm  Preventing tobacco product use among youth is especially critical to addressing the tobacco epidemic in the United States.

A Pledge to Not Work with Agencies that Promote Tobacco Use 

Tobacco companies claim that they have left deceptive marketing tactics in the past. However, they are increasingly using new channels to directly target our youth. Tactics such as the promotion of kid-friendly flavors by social media influencers have contributed to the nearly 80 percent rise in vaping among U.S. high school students between 2017 and 2018. 

Recognizing this problem, CVS Health recently committed to the Quit Big Tobacco pledge — joining more than 200 organizations vowing to not work with any marketing and public relations agencies that have ties with the tobacco industry. The Quit Big Tobacco campaign was created by Vital Strategies, an international public health organization who promotes its Tobacco-Free Agencies list so that companies can make sure the ad or public relations agencies they partner with do not work for the tobacco industry. 
    
Currently, CVS Health is working to add language outlining the requirement to contracts for both current and future partnerships with all marketing agencies. We are excited to be the first major corporate brand to take this pledge and urge other companies to join us in this critically important fight.

Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth 

Five years ago, CVS Health quit selling all tobacco products and made a commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives. A key element of this commitment focuses on our efforts to create the first-ever tobacco-free generation. As a front door to health care in 10,000 communities nationwide, CVS Health is working to help people avoid tobacco use through our pharmacies, MinuteClinic locations and community programs and partnerships.

In addition to investing in cessation programs for people of all ages, CVS Health has made significant investments in tobacco prevention for youth. Be the First is a five-year, $50-million commitment aimed at delivering the first tobacco-free generation by bringing together the nation’s leading anti-tobacco and youth-serving organizations to support education, advocacy and tobacco control and healthy behavior programming. 

Through this commitment, we achieved the following milestones in 2018

  • Provided more than $4 million in support to youth smoking and e-cigarette prevention; 
  • Helped 82 college campuses go tobacco-free; and 
  • Reached more than 9 million youth with smoking prevention messaging.

We look forward to continuing our work on tobacco-free education and prevention in communities nationwide.   

To learn more about our efforts to reduce smoking rates, visit our Tobacco Prevention & Cessation information center. And to stay informed about the most talked-about topics in health care, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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As Tobacco and E-Cigarette Companies Continue to Use Marketing Dollars to Win New Customers, CVS Health Pledges Not to Work with Agencies that Promote Smoking or Vaping

As Tobacco and E-Cigarette Companies Continue to Use Marketing Dollars to Win New Customers, CVS Health Pledges Not to Work with Agencies that Promote Smoking or Vaping
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CVS Health joins a growing list of companies to Quit Big Tobacco, a Vital Strategies initiative aimed at taking money, talent and expertise away from the tobacco and e-cigarette industries  

APRIL 30, 2019 12:01AM ET (New York, USA)—CVS Health, the nation's premier health innovation company as well as the 7th largest company in the nation in terms of revenue, has pledged not to work with advertising or public relations agencies who work with tobacco and e-cigarette companies, following its decision to remove tobacco from its stores five years ago.  They are the first major corporate brand to join the Quit Big Tobacco campaign created by Vital Strategies, an international public health organization headquartered in New York.

The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year on cigarette and e-cigarette marketing, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Marketing tactics, such as kid-friendly flavors and promotion by social media influencers, have contributed to the nearly 80% rise in vaping among U.S. high school students between 2017 and 2018. A National Health Institute survey found that 40 percent of young adults who use e-cigarettes every day or some days were never smokers before trying e-cigarettes.

“This is what corporate leadership looks like,” said José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies. “CVS Health’s pledge builds on their 2014 forward-thinking decision to stop selling tobacco products in their stores, thus depriving the tobacco industry from the creative talent it needs to target youth in the United States and around the world. It’s a game changer. We hope this bold decision will encourage other health-minded companies to follow suit. We congratulate CVS Health and thank them for taking the Quit Big Tobacco pledge.”

“Five years ago we quit selling all tobacco products and made a commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives, including investing in youth tobacco prevention programs in order to support the first tobacco-free generation,” said Norman de Greve, Chief Marketing Officer for CVS Health. “Big tobacco is increasingly using new channels to directly target our youth – including leveraging social media and influencers. We unequivocally take the Quit Big Tobacco pledge, meaning we will not work with any marketing and public relations agencies that have ties with the tobacco industry, and we urge other companies to join us in this critically important fight.”

CVS Health is the first major corporate brand to pledge to Quit Big Tobacco, joining more than 200 organizations that have signed on to the campaign. Vital Strategies promotes its Tobacco-Free Agencies list so that companies can make sure the ad or public relations agencies they work with have no ties to the tobacco industry. Vital Strategies also unveiled the Quit Big Tobacco badge, which may be displayed by pledgers to convey their involvement in the campaign. CVS Health is working to add language outlining the requirement to contracts for both current and future partnerships with all marketing agencies. 

"CVS Health's leadership as the first major brand to sign the Quit Tobacco Pledge sends a powerful message to the advertising, marketing and public relations communities that engaging with an industry that makes billions by harming millions will cost you,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative. “We have no doubt more companies will follow CVS Health and sign the pledge, especially given the urgency surrounding the growing e-cigarette epidemic addicting a new generation to nicotine and putting youth at greater risk of smoking deadly cigarettes.”

“Tobacco companies claim that all their lying and deception is behind them, but they’re reaching out to their old advertising friends under new pretenses,” said Alex Bogusky, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of advertising agency Crispin Porter Bogusky. “At CPB, we know agency reputation and new business suffers when a client’s goal is selling addiction. CVS Health’s pledge to Quit Big Tobacco is a strong signal to our industry that cutting ties with the tobacco industry isn’t just good practice- it’s good business.”

Quit Big Tobacco, an initiative of Vital Strategies, unites leading advertising agencies, public relations firms, and health-oriented organizations and brands to pledge not to work with the tobacco industry or agencies that do. Ad and PR agencies that pledge to Quit Big Tobacco join a list of Tobacco-Free Agencies committed not to work with tobacco or vaping clients. Organizations and brands that value health pledge not to work with agencies that have tobacco clients. By taking talent and expertise away from Big Tobacco, Quit Big Tobacco aims to reduce the uptake of tobacco use and its health harms so that people can live longer, healthier lives.

For more information about Vital Strategies’ Quit Big Tobacco campaign, or to take the pledge on behalf of an agency or organization, visit http://quitbigtobacco.org.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit http://www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has more than 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 92 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including a rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offering. This innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Contact

Christina Honeysett
Vital Strategies
1.914.424.3356
choneysett@vitalstrategies.org

Erin Pensa
CVS Health
1.401.770.4786
erin.pensa@cvshealth.com

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CVS Health Announces Data from Smoking Cessation Outreach on One-Year Anniversary of Decision to Stop Tobacco Sales

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., February 5, 2015 – On the one-year anniversary of its decision to stop tobacco sales, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) released new data showing that its messages about the importance of quitting smoking for good are reaching millions of Americans and that its smoking cessation program is providing personalized counseling and smoking cessation products, when appropriate, to hundreds of thousands more.  This outreach reflects CVS Health’s commitment to helping people on their path to better health by becoming tobacco-free.

“One year ago, we knew that removing cigarettes and tobacco products from our stores would not be enough on its own to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our customers and patients who smoke,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “We believe our combined efforts of eliminating pharmacy-associated access to tobacco products, and a devoted smoking cessation program through our channels will help our patients on their path to better health.”

CVS Health’s innovative smoking cessation program combines the elements that are the most effective smoking cessation components: an assessment of the smoker’s readiness to quit, medication support, coaching and education.  

“The combination of medication and coaching is powerful and can nearly double quit rates,” Brennan added.  “Our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners are playing a key role in helping us implement this program.”

From the smoking cessation program launch on September 3, 2014, through December 2014, CVS pharmacists counseled more than 67,000 patients filling a first prescription for a smoking cessation drug or prescription nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and consulted with thousands more smokers seeking advice about over-the-counter NRT products. Prescriptions for smoking cessation medications have increased by 63 percent on a monthly basis in the timeframe and visits to MinuteClinic for smoking cessation counseling were up 61 percent compared to the prior eight months.

CVS/pharmacy also offered ready access to over-the-counter NRT products that assist smokers trying to quit.  Purchases of these products increased 21 percent in September through December over the previous four months. Additionally, customers picked up 2.3 million tobacco cessation brochures at CVS/pharmacy and thousands of “Last Pack” encouragement toolkits, reaching millions of additional smokers with education, information and support.

Smokers also sought out quitting support through a Smoking Cessation Hub on www.cvs.com which neared one million visits through December.  Approximately 25,000 smokers completed Nicotine Dependency Quizzes during these website visits and more than 2,500 of them followed up with calls to a smoking quit line (1-844-265-4321) operated by the American Cancer Society for additional support and access to services in local communities.

“The hard work of quitting smoking is worth it because there are many health benefits,” commented Helena Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy.  “Approximately seven in ten smokers say they want to quit and about half attempt to quit each year. But challenges still exist, including the fact that fewer than half of smokers report being advised to stop smoking.  Through our continuing efforts we hope to change that.”

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health.  Through our 7,800 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs.  Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts:

Carolyn Castel

Corporate Communications
(401) 770-5717
Carolyn.Castel@CVSHealth.com 

Mike DeAngelis

Corporate Communications
(401) 770-2645
mjdeangelis@cvs.com

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CVS Health Research Institute Study Finds Smoking Cessation Programs with Financial Incentives Increase Rates of Quitting and Staying Smoke-free

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 13, 2015  A new study by the CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) Research Institute and researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that employer-sponsored smoking cessation programs with financial incentives are associated with higher rates of quitting smoking and sustained abstinence. Findings of the study, conducted among a sample of CVS Health colleagues and their relatives and friends, helped shape an innovative smoking cessation program for CVS Health colleagues that will launch in June 2015.

“More than 50 years after the release of the first Surgeon General’s report on the harmful effects of tobacco, smoking still remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the U.S. While as a society, we have made significant strides in curbing rates of smoking, there is still a clear opportunity to make an even greater impact,” said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, executive vice president and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health and a study co-author. “As we think about novel approaches to smoking cessation, these findings provide evidence that financial incentives can be a powerful motivator.”

The researchers randomly assigned approximately 2,500 CVS Health colleagues and their family and friends to one of four incentive-based smoking cessation programs or to usual care, which consisted of informational resources and free access to a behavioral-modification program and nicotine-replacement therapy. Across all of the incentive-based programs, participants were eligible for up to $800 for successfully quitting smoking but the programs differed in how incentives were accrued and disbursed. Two of the programs required participants to pay an upfront deposit of $150, which was reimbursed if participants successfully quit smoking. Overall, study participants who enrolled in any of the four incentive-based programs were nearly three times more likely to quit smoking than those who received usual care alone. In addition, although participants assigned to the groups requiring an upfront deposit were more likely to decline participation than those in the pure incentive-based programs, deposit programs led to nearly twice the rate of abstinence from smoking at six months among people who would have accepted either type of program.

“This study is one of the first to compare incentive programs that first require deposits and programs that entail pure rewards to promote healthy behaviors,” added Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the study. “The results are fully consistent with the behavioral theory that people are typically more motivated to avoid losses than to seek gains. Although the need to make monetary deposits deters some people from participating, deposit-requiring incentive programs can produce robust, long-term results in helping to change complex health behaviors.”

As part of CVS Health’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health, CVS Health will launch 700 Good Reasons, an innovative smoking cessation program for its colleagues who smoke or use tobacco of any kind. Set to launch next month, the program was developed based on key learnings and insights gained from this new research in order to create an incentive program that would both encourage participation and result in sustained success in quitting smoking. Program participants are required to pay a $50 deposit and can earn up to $700 as well as a refund of their full deposit if they commit to quit and are successful. The financial incentives will be paid to participating employees who test tobacco-free at six and 12 months. In addition, those enrolled will also be encouraged to participate in CVS/minuteclinic’s Start to Stop® smoking cessation program which offers a personalized quit plan, nicotine replacement therapy and support to help stay on track.

“Last year, we made a commitment as a company to be tobacco-free as we strive to fulfill our purpose of helping people on their path to better health and that includes our colleagues,” said Lisa Bisaccia, executive vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer, CVS Health. “The research we conducted with the University of Pennsylvania provided us with important information about what can motivate and help our colleagues stop smoking. We are excited to offer this innovative program to our colleagues who want to quit smoking as we foster a healthy workplace and workforce.”

CVS Health stopped selling tobacco products in all CVS/pharmacy locations in September 2014 to support the health and well-being of its patients and customers.

The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. CVS Health Research Institute findings support a continuous quality improvement environment, which encourages product innovation and development to benefit CVS Health patients, clients and their members.

The study was also supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA159932) and a grant from the National Institute on Aging (AG036592).

For more detail on the data, please visit the following link: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1414293

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 7,800 retail drugstores, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact

Christine Cramer
CVS Health
(401) 770-3317
christine.cramer@cvscaremark.com

Christina Beckerman
CVS Health
(401) 770-8868
christina.beckerman@cvscaremark.com

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Here’s Why Quitting Should Be Your New Year’s Resolution

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DoSomething.org and CVS Health team up with hip-hop duo Kalin and Myles to encourage young people to create and share handmade cards encouraging smokers to quit

NEW YORK, NY – January 7, 2016– Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States1 and each year, over 68 percent of smokers want to quit2. The more support and resources someone has, the more likely they are to successfully quit smoking.3

That’s why DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations for young people and social change, and CVS Health, America’s leading pharmacy company, have teamed up for Quitters Always Win, a national campaign that asks young people to create heartfelt, handmade cards to encourage family, friends and neighbors who smoke to quit as their New Year’s Resolution.

Because quitting smoking is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people attempt to make, and often fail at, Quitters Always Win attempts to provide the extra encouragement and resources that people need to accomplish their goal.

Young people can sign up at DoSomething.org/winner and will receive resources they can include in their card. Young people who sign up and upload a photo of their card will have the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship.

“This campaign is a great way to start the year off right and help people achieve their New Year’s resolution to quit smoking,” said Naomi Hirabayashi, Chief Marketing Officer at DoSomething.org. “Young people love crafting and care about the health of their loved ones. Quitters Always Win gives people who want to quit the extra support they need to help them successfully quit smoking.”

Hip-hop duo Kalin and Myles recorded a public service announcement to encourage their fan base, the KAMFAM, and young people across the country to join the campaign. The duo recently released their self-titled full-length debut album via Republic Records to all digital retailers. Upon release, the album vaulted to the Top 10 of the iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart.

”We’re so excited about this partnership with DoSomething.org to extend our commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives and reach young people with tobacco-free messaging in unique and relevant ways,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy, CVS Health. “We know that 7 out of 10 people want to quit smoking, and support from friends and family is one of the most important factors in being successful.”

In 2014, CVS Health became the first, and remains the only, national retail pharmacy to eliminate the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products from its stores.

For more information about Quitters Always Win, visit DoSomething.org/winner.

To view the PSA, visit: https://youtu.be/uhcXGfMyeHA

About DoSomething.org

DoSomething.org makes the world suck less. One of the largest global orgs for young people and social change, our 4.7 million members tackle campaigns that impact every cause, from poverty to violence to the environment to literally everything else. Any cause, anytime, anywhere.*mic drop

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,500 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

[1] The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.’

[2] Smoking cessation among self-quitters’

[3] Strategies to Help a Smoker Who is Struggling to Quit”,

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CVS Health Foundation and American Academy of Pediatrics Announce New Initiative to Reduce Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

CVS Health Foundation and American Academy of Pediatrics Announce New Initiative to Reduce Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
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WOONSOCKET, R.I., July 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The CVS Health Foundation today announced a new grant to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help improve counseling by all pediatric health care providers around tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke. The program will provide clinicians with the messages, tools and counseling protocols needed to screen for secondhand smoke exposure and better prepare them to speak with parents and families about the importance of reducing tobacco use.

While the rate of smoking among adults and youth are at all-time lows in the U.S., the ultimate goal of controlling tobacco consumption as the biggest preventable cause of disease and death requires incremental progress on many fronts, including preventing exposure to secondhand smoke, especially among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 41 percent of children ages 3 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke, which even at brief levels can be harmful to a person's health.

Pursuing a further reduction in tobacco use and nicotine addiction among young people and increasing access to smoke-free environments continues to be a priority for many Americans, as evidenced by the results of a new CVS Health/Morning Consult poll. According to the national survey of 2,001 U.S. registered voters, 86 percent feel it's important to reduce youth smoking rates. Thirty-seven percent of all respondents say they are so concerned with exposure to secondhand smoke they exclusively seek out smoke-free locations when they leave their homes.

"With an alarming number of children still being exposed to secondhand smoke every day, working with the American Academy of Pediatrics to help educate physicians and parents and help curb exposure is an important step in our efforts to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation," said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. "We're honored to be working with this respected organization that has demonstrated success in helping to increase education and awareness around the dangers of secondhand smoke."

To help address these alarming trends and reduce the prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure, the AAP will hold two in-person training sessions in 2016 for pediatricians and other child health clinicians, who act as the primary source of medical information for parents. A $110,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation to AAP will cover the costs of the meetings, which will feature content produced by the AAP.

Each session will help health care professionals implement proven, easy-to-use ways to better counsel parents on the importance of quitting smoking and the use of other tobacco products and how to ensure all places where children spend time are smoke-and tobacco-free. In addition to access to in-person training sessions, participants will also be provided with easy-to-use tools, such as online resources and other content.

"Most parents who smoke know that secondhand smoke is harmful to children and other nonsmokers," said Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, CEO/Executive Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "The American Academy of Pediatrics is committed to equipping pediatricians with the tools they need to educate parents and help families reduce children's exposure to second hand smoke across the country. This grant through the CVS Health Foundation will help us bring our evidence-based guidance to more physicians in high-impact training sessions."

The grant to the AAP is part of Be The First, CVS Health's $50 million, five-year initiative to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation. The initiative, announced in March 2016, includes education, tobacco-control advocacy and healthy behavior programming.

About the American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The AAP. For more information, visit www.aap.org and www.healthychildren.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds. For more information on our Julius B. Richmond center which is committed to protecting children from tobacco and secondhand smoke, visit http://www2.aap.org/richmondcenter/.

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

CONTACT:

Mary Alfieri, 401-770-9811, mary.alfieri@cvscaremark.com

SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Health Commits $10 Million to American Cancer Society in Support of Cancer Patient Services and Breakthrough Research

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Company provides customers with an in-store opportunity to honor and support family and friends affected by cancer

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced a pledge to contribute a minimum of $10 million to the American Cancer Society through in-store fundraising over the next three years and to serve as the official retail pharmacy partner of the nation's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer.

The new funding will be raised to support cancer patient services programs, breakthrough research, and cancer prevention efforts, including tobacco control. According to the American Cancer Society, almost 30 percent of cancer deaths this year will be caused by cigarette smoking.

"Through our new commitment to the American Cancer Society, we will help to support more cancer survivors and reduce the number of cancer deaths, including those related to smoking," said Troy Brennan, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "We are pleased to be extending our relationship with a best-in-class cancer organization, which shares our purpose of helping people on their path to better health."

CVS Pharmacy customers can join in the company's efforts and honor and support those affected by cancer by donating to the American Cancer Society at the register at 8,000 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide or online at cancer.org/cvsdonate from August 5 -25, 2018. The new philanthropic investment will directly support the American Cancer Society's breakthrough cancer research, free rides to treatments, free lodging near hospitals and a 24/7 live cancer helpline, as well as build on the two organizations' efforts to help more people lead tobacco-free lives.

"The American Cancer Society is dedicated to leading the fight against cancer, including helping people quit smoking or never starting in the first place," said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the American Cancer Society. "Recognizing that cigarette smoking is a leading cause of cancer, CVS Pharmacy has removed tobacco products from their shelves and is committed to delivering the first tobacco-free generation. That's why the American Cancer Society is proud to partner with CVS Health."

CVS Health and the American Cancer Society are also working together to identify opportunities along a patient's cancer journey to increase access to health products and services.

CVS Health's latest commitment to the American Cancer Society builds on a longstanding partnership with the organization that includes providing tobacco-control expertise and support to the company's Be The First initiative. Be The First is CVS Health's five-year, $50 million commitment to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation. To date, the CVS Health Foundation and the American Cancer Society have helped clear the air for more than 1 million students through grants that help colleges and universities advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. The two organizations will be announcing additional grants to major academic institutions across the country later this year.

About American Cancer Society 

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to www.cancer.org. The American Cancer Society does not endorse any product or service.

About CVS Health 

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,800 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 94 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts 

Mary Gattuso, CVS Health
Mary.Gattuso@CVSHealth.com

Miriam Falco, American Cancer Society
miriam.falco@cancer.org

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CVS Health And Breathe California Announce Statewide Finalists In Student Film Contest On Youth Smoking

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Eight PSAs chosen in first statewide contest to promote a tobacco-free generation

With $100,000 contribution from CVS Health, student PSAs helping to increase awareness and reduce youth smoking in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Student filmmakers from high schools and middle schools across the state received regional honors in the third annual Anti-Tobacco Video Contest for the Public Service Announcements (PSA) produced to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco. The contest, organized by Breathe California as part of a $100,000 grant from CVS Health, invited middle- and high-school students in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose and San Francisco to submit a PSA video on their vision of the first tobacco-free generation.

Statewide winners will be announced on Saturday, February 25 in Sacramento as part of the Breathe Youth Media Awards, a unique youth choice awards program that aims to engage teens in anti-tobacco initiatives, such as rating tobacco use in popular movies, and educational opportunities around the dangers of smoking and e-cigarettes.

"The PSA videos are a great way for students to have conversations about the dangers of tobacco with their teachers and peers in their own words and to imagine what the first tobacco-free generation will look like," said Kori Titus, CEO, Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails. "We are very grateful to CVS Health for their support and leadership in helping to deliver the first tobacco-free generation."

Of the 50 entries submitted for the contest, the following middle- and high-school level PSAs were chosen as regional finalists and have been entered into the statewide Breathe Youth Media Awards:

  • Naveet Khaira, Jasminder Mann, Jennifer Roberts; Christian Brothers High School (Sacramento)
  • Matt Grossman, Josh Davis, Ben Vechter, Gabrielle Ferraro, Vincent Seyford, Derek Gale; Rio Americano High School (Sacramento)
  • Tasneem Imbabi, Bella Simanhadi, Juliette Lopez, Anna Gorban, Kaitlyn Valdez; Gold River Discovery Center (Gold River)
  • Liron Day, Manan Chopra; Dublin High School (Dublin)
  • Sophie Azriel; Sunnyvale Middle School (Sunnyvale)
  • Carlos Martinez, Elida Hernandez, Alondra Hernandez, Marvin Segovia, Mikhael Torres, Pedro Hernandez, Juliana Rodriguez, Afram Malki, Bryant Torres, Xochill Navarro, Leslie Morales, Alondra Hernande; Robert Fulton College Preparatory School (Van Nuys)
  • Lorcan McSharp, John Lamm, Alex Kong; Northgate High School (Walnut Creek)
  • Courtney Villasenor, Donovan Toney, Savanna Soto, Samantha De Alba, Alisa Moran, Logan Torosian, Angela Wesson, Nicholas Jackson, Alondra Carrillo, Esperanza Ayon, Leslie Alonso; McKee Middle School (Bakersfield)

CVS Health's support for Breathe California affiliates is part of Be The First, the company's five-year, $50 million initiative to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation and extend the company's commitment to helping people lead tobacco-free lives. With support and funding through CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation, Be The First supports comprehensive education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming delivered by a group of best-in-class partner organizations.

"Tobacco use, especially among our youth, is one of the most pressing public health issues that we face today," said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy at CVS Health. "We're proud to support Breathe California whose mission is to promote a tobacco-free generation and we look forward to continuing our work with them to harness the passion of young people to make an impact on the issues they care about."

In addition to the PSA contest, the grant provided by CVS Health will help each of the Breathe chapters expand their youth prevention training and education programming. Throughout the state, the Breathe affiliates will work to reduce the impact of lung disease through prevention, education, advocacy and patient services, as well as help to shape policies that support a healthier and safer California. To view the winning local PSAs, please visit http://bit.ly/2lQdheJ.

For more information about Be The First and CVS Health's commitment to tobacco-free living, please visit www.cvshealth.com/bethefirst.

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:

Mary Alfieri
CVS Health
Mary.Alfieri@CVSHealth.com
401-770-9811

SOURCE CVS Health

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