CVS announces move to discontinue cigarette sales in its pharmacies

Last night, I learned from senior CVS Caremark officials that they would be announcing the termination of tobacco product sales in their pharmacies, effective October 2014. Honestly, I was thrilled, and I told them so. As we seek access and coverage for pharmacists’ quality patient care services (provider status), our efforts may be obstructed by those who point to tobacco sales as being in conflict with efforts to improve public health. Certainly APhA and our House of Delegates have taken a stand, as evidenced by these 2010 policies:

1. APhA urges pharmacies and facilities that include pharmacies to discontinue the sale of tobacco products.

2. APhA urges the federal government and state governments to limit participation in government-funded prescription programs to pharmacies that do not sell tobacco products.

3. APhA urges state boards of pharmacy to discontinue issuing and renewing licenses to pharmacies that sell tobacco products and to pharmacies that are in facilities that sell tobacco products.

4. APhA urges colleges of pharmacy to only use pharmacies that do not sell tobacco products as experience sites for their students.

5. APhA urges the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) to adopt the position that college-administered pharmacy experience programs should only use pharmacies that do not sell tobacco products.

6. APhA urges pharmacists and student pharmacists who are seeking employment opportunities to first consider positions in pharmacies that do not sell tobacco products.

I lost my father to cancer in 1986 when he was far too young. His lifelong smoking was most certainly the cause. I offer a serious congrats to CVS Caremark and all the pharmacists who have made similar moves in their pharmacies. These efforts can only help in our quest for provider status.