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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Tobacco-Free for Five Years

Five years ago, we made the bold decision to eliminate tobacco products from all of our CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide, and we’re still the only national pharmacy to do so.

Not only did our decision lead to 100 million fewer packs of cigarettes being sold in the first year since their removal, but we also took our efforts beyond our stores, helping 228 colleges and universities become tobacco free over the past five years and committing $50 million to deliver the first tobacco-free generation through our Be The First initiative.

And with the significant rise in teen e-cigarette use, we’re now working to combat vaping, too, including a $10 million commitment in 2019 to support youth smoking and e-cigarette prevention strategies and education in partnership with Discovery Education and CATCH Global Foundation, and our pledge earlier this year not to work with advertising or public relations agencies who work with tobacco and e-cigarette companies.

Beyond Tobacco: Taking Steps to Transform Health Care

But our decision to eliminate tobacco was just the start. As a health care company now combined with Aetna, we’re taking even bolder steps to transform the consumer health care experience and help lead our customers, patients and the communities we serve on a path to better health.

On our shelves, customers now have access to more health-focused products and services than ever before. And we recently became the first and only national retailer to require that all vitamins and supplements undergo third-party testing to confirm they meet our high standards.

We’re also removing chemicals like parabens and phthalates from our store brand products and we took SPF less than 15 off our shelves.

At the local level, we’re building healthier communities with a $100 million investment in health and wellness, which includes programs aimed at helping people manage the most prevalent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Moving into 2020, we will expand our focus on tobacco cessation and prevention, particularly within the Medicaid program where smoking rates are considerably higher than among all adults. We’ll be working with Aetna Better Health managed Medicaid plans and together with CVS Caremark clients interested in creating or expanding smoking cession efforts for their Medicaid members.

At CVS Health, we know that health is a personal journey. And from tobacco removal to our many other health-focused services and offerings, we’re committed to navigating that journey hand-in-hand with our customers and patients to ensure that the future of care is one in which everyone can achieve their best health.

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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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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 Foundation, American Cancer Society and Truth Initiative Team Up to Help Reduce Smoking on College Campuses

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Now accepting online applications for next round of tobacco-free campus grants

Organizations recently awarded grants to 126 colleges pursuing 100% smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies

CVS Health survey reveals overwhelming support among U.S. college students for tobacco-free campuses

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Sept. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The CVS Health Foundation, American Cancer Society and Truth Initiative today announced that grants are now available to help U.S. colleges and universities advocate for, adopt and implement 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. The grants are part of aggressive efforts by all three organizations to deliver the first tobacco-free generation by accelerating and expanding the number of campuses across the country that prohibit smoking and tobacco use.

Smart Campuses quit

The announcement of newly available grants coincides with the awarding of $1.2 million in grants to 126 schools who are working toward a tobacco-free campus policy, the largest number of schools to do so at any one time. Spanning the U.S., the campuses include 43 major academic institutions, including Stanford University and University of Pittsburgh; 34 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) including Howard University; and 49 community colleges. Grantees range from colleges in the early stages of building campus support for going tobacco-free to those that have adopted policies and need support to successfully implement them.

The grants delivered through Truth Initiative and American Cancer Society are part of Be The First, CVS Health's five-year, $50 million initiative that supports education, tobacco control, and healthy behavior programming with a goal of helping to deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation. CVS Health's efforts targeting college students meet an urgent and critical need. Of the roughly 20 million college and university students in the U.S., more than 1 million have been projected to die prematurely from cigarette smoking.

"We are at a critical moment in our nation's efforts to end the epidemic of smoking and tobacco use, and expanding the number of tobacco-free college and university campuses is an important step in our efforts," said Eileen Howard Boone, President of the CVS Health Foundation. "We're confident our strategy will drive a significant decline in the number of new college-age smokers, and contribute to the progress being made where a tobacco-free generation in the U.S. seems possible."

With the CVS Health Foundation's support, the American Cancer Society and Truth Initiative programs help students, faculty and staff develop and execute strategies that are customized to meet the campuses' unique needs and move the schools toward a 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free environment. Each organization also provides technical assistance and other resources to schools, including education, communications, support to quit smoking and evaluation.

According to a new survey from CVS Health, public support for smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies remains strong. The results released today revealed that three in four Americans (73%) and eight in 10 current U.S. college students (78%) indicated their support for policies that prohibit smoking and other tobacco use on college campuses. At the same time, 57 percent of U.S. college students say a tobacco-free campus is important to them when considering applying to or attending a college. The findings come from a public opinion poll conducted by Morning Consult for CVS Health in August 2017. For more findings, visit www.cvshealth.com/CampusSurvey.

"While we have made great progress driving down the smoking rate to 6 percent among youth, the prevalence of smoking by young adults is 14.2 percent and those who attend college have a higher risk of initiating and experimenting with smoking," said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative, the national public health organization that directs and funds the truth campaign. "With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 26, college campuses are critical in preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding current smokers in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all. We are thrilled to be working with the CVS Health Foundation to provide grants to minority-serving institutions, HBCUs, and community colleges to give them the tools to go tobacco-free and be the generation that ends smoking."

"Tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is responsible for approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths, killing up to half of its users," said Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society, "By partnering with the CVS Health Foundation to create tobacco-free campus environments, we can reduce youth tobacco exposure, prevent students from becoming addicted, and ultimately, reduce the number of people who get sick and die from cancer and other tobacco-related diseases."

Since the launch of its tobacco-free college program in 2016, the CVS Health Foundation has awarded more than $3 million in grants to 146 U.S. colleges and universities as part of an ongoing commitment to accelerate and expand the number of 100 percent tobacco-free campuses. The U.S. Department of Education reports there are approximately 4,700 U.S. colleges and universities, many of which have more than one campus. Yet, only 1,611 campuses are 100-percent smoke- and tobacco-free, according to an Americans for Nonsmokers Rights analysis.

To see the full list of colleges supported by these grants and for more information on the grant application process, please visit http://www.cvshealth.com/tobaccofreecampus.

Poll Methodology 

The poll was conducted online by Morning Consult for CVS Health between August 4-7, 2017 among a national sample of 2,880 U.S. adults, with an oversample of current college students and parents of current college students. Margin of error is +/-2 percentage points.

About the CVS Health Foundation

The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. We also invest in scholarship programs that open the pathways to careers in pharmacy to support the academic aspirations of the best and brightest talent in the industry. Our philanthropy also extends to supporting our colleagues' spirit of volunteerism through Volunteer Challenge grants to nonprofits where they donate their time and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit www.cvshealth.com/social-responsibility.

About The American Cancer Society 

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 25 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

About Truth Initiative 

Truth Initiative is dedicated to achieving a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. We speak, seek and spread the truth about tobacco through education, tobacco control research and policy studies, and community activism and engagement. We've helped bring teen cigarette use down from 23 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2015. We're proud of that success, but our work won't stop until we achieve a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. https://truthinitiative.org/

Media Contacts:

Michael Reich
813-838-8912
michael.reich@cancer.org

Nicole Dueffert
202-454-5589
ndueffert@truthinitiative.org

Mary Gattuso
401-770-9811
mary.gattuso@cvshealth.com

SOURCE CVS Health Foundation

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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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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 Foundation Commits $5 Million to Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --The CVS Health Foundation today announced a $5 million five-year commitment to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to launch its new "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program. Through the program, the CVS Health Foundation will partner with Tobacco-Free Kids to provide grants to organizations committed to implementing public health strategies to reduce youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

"The CVS Health Foundation is committed to helping people lead tobacco-free lives and working toward the goal of making the next generation tobacco-free," said Eileen Howard Boone, President, CVS Health Foundation. "We are proud to partner with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the leaders in youth tobacco awareness, prevention and advocacy, through this grant program to empower youth and provide them with the resources needed to reduce tobacco use among young people."

The "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant initiative will support programs that help to reduce youth tobacco use, especially among at-risk populations, educate the public about the problem of and solutions to youth tobacco use in local communities and increase youth engagement in tobacco prevention activities. The first grant recipients will be announced on Kick Butts Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and mobilize their communities on youth tobacco issues, which will be held this year on March 18, 2015.

"Together with the CVS Health Foundation, we hope we can raise even more awareness of the serious problem of tobacco use that virtually always begins with youth and accelerate progress toward our shared vision of a tobacco-free generation," said Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "This innovative partnership comes as we mark one year since the announcement that CVS/pharmacy locations would no longer sell tobacco products, demonstrating the ongoing commitment of CVS Health and its Foundation to continue to help people live tobacco-free."

February 5th marks the one-year anniversary of CVS Health's announcement that it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,800 CVS/pharmacy locations. This made CVS/pharmacy the first national pharmacy chain to take this very important step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has publicly urged retail and pharmacy outlets to end tobacco sales and shares CVS Health's commitment to help millions of Americans quit smoking and help those who don't smoke to never start.

About the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco. We work to save lives by advocating for public policies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.

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 atwww.cvshealth.com.

CONTACT:

Erin Shields Britt
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@cvscaremark.com

Peter Hamm
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
202-296-5469
PHamm@TobaccoFreeKids.org

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cvs-health-foundation-commits-5-million-to-campaign-for-tobacco-free-kids-300031310.html

SOURCE CVS Health Foundation

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CVS Health Foundation Announces Grant Awards to Reduce Youth Tobacco Use

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., March 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The CVS Health Foundation, a private foundation created by CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today announced the first four grant recipients in its "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program a five-year, $5 million partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. This announcement coincides with Kick Butts Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and mobilize their communities. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world.

"We're excited to celebrate Kick Butts Day by showing our commitment to helping young people lead tobacco-free lives in partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids," said Eileen Howard Boone, President of the CVS Health Foundation. "We are proud to support the dedicated work of these grantees who share our goal to educate young people about the dangers of tobacco in the hopes of making the next generation tobacco-free."

Every day, more than 2,800 kids under the age of 18 nationwide try smoking for the first time, and 2.7 million high school students in the United States still smoke. Through the "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program, the CVS Health Foundation and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids aim to reduce youth tobacco use, especially among at-risk populations, educate the public about the problem of and solutions to youth tobacco use in local communities and increase youth engagement in tobacco prevention activities. The first group of 2015 grants awarded today includes:

BREATHE California of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA
BREATHE California plans to reach approximately 8,000 third- to eighth-grade students throughout Los Angeles County as part of the "No to Tobacco" prevention program, which focuses on underserved populations. The program includes educational modules on lung health, the cost of tobacco, and providing youth with the confidence and skills they need to lead a tobacco-free life.

California School-Based Health Alliance, Oakland, CA
California School-Based Health Alliance will increase the capacity of school-based health centers (SBHC) to implement youth-led tobacco prevention programs and educate kids throughout California. Currently, 10.5 percent of high school students in California smoke and 21,300 kids under the age of 18 become daily smokers each year. With this grant, California School-Based Health Alliance plans to provide training for SBHC staff and reach 2,000 youth with tobacco-prevention education.

Health Promotion Council of Southeastern PA, Philadelphia, PA
Health Promotion Council of Southeastern PA plans to expand its Advocacy Institute (AI), which provides training for youth-led public health advocacy. The expansion will bring the AI into additional counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, increase membership in the AI Alumni Network and allow the council to host a Youth Leadership Summit that will train additional youth on tobacco prevention and control.

Ohio Public Health Partnership, Columbus, OH
Ohio Public Health Partnership (OPHP) plans to educate lawmakers and the public to support an increase in the Ohio tobacco tax, equalize the tax on other tobacco products and designate 12 cents of every $1.00 of the proposed tax increase for tobacco use prevention and cessation. In Ohio, 15.1 percent of high school students smoke and an additional 12,500 kids under the age of 18 become daily smokers each year. To help resolve this issue, OPHP will implement tobacco-prevention and cessation programs that target youth, pregnant women and other high-priority individuals.

"We know that most adult smokers began smoking at a very young age. Through our partnership with the CVS Health Foundation, we're one step closer to our shared mission to make the next generation tobacco-free," said Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "With the support of these grants, community partners will be able to expand the tobacco prevention resources they're able to offer local youth and activate youth to reduce tobacco-use."

Last year, CVS Health announced that all CVS/pharmacy locations across the country would stop selling tobacco products and launched a smoking cessation program that has since helped more than 67,000 patients quit smoking. In addition, since the company's tobacco announcement, CVS Health has announced more than $1 million in grants to tobacco cessation organizations and launched a 5-year, $5 million partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids through the CVS Health Foundation.

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:
Erin Shields Britt, CVS Health
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@cvscaremark.com

Eva Pereira, for CVS Health
(781) 559-0424
eva.pereira@rfbinder.com

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cvs-health-foundation-announces-grant-awards-to-reduce-youth-tobacco-use-300052138.html

SOURCE CVS Health Foundation

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