Henry Ford Applauds CVS Decision to Ban Tobacco Products

October 01, 2014

DETROIT – Henry Ford Health System supports the decision of CVS Caremark to ban the sale of tobacco products in their stores.

CVS Caremark has announced that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS pharmacy stores across the U.S. by October 1. It is the first national pharmacy chain to take such action in support of its customers’ health.

We applaud CVS Caremark on its decision to discontinue the sale of cigarettes,” says Paul Szilagyi, vice president of Primary Care and Medical Centers, Henry Ford Health System. It sends a strong public health message that consumers’ health and well-being take priority over profits.

As part of a clinical collaboration, Henry Ford and CVS MinuteClinic partner on patient education and disease management.  Certainly, smoking cessation is important in preserving the health of the communities we serve.

Approximately seven in ten smokers say they want to quit and about half attempt to quit each year.

This courageous decision mirrors long term positions held by the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and American Pharmacists Association, all of which oppose tobacco sales in stores that include pharmacies,” adds Szilagyi.

It just makes sense that a business that promotes health would not sell tobacco products.

Henry Ford affiliated with MinuteClinic, the retail health care division of CVS Caremark, in 2011 to improve access to health care in metropolitan Detroit. There are 14 walk-in clinics inside select CVS pharmacy stores in Southeast Michigan, staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can treat common illnesses, as well as offer wellness and prevention services, seven days a week. Henry Ford physicians are the on-call medical directors for all metro Detroit MinuteClinics.

Part of this collaboration includes educating patients and helping them to manage chronic diseases.

Smoking is the leading cause of premature disease and death in the United States with more than 480,000 deaths annually. While cigarette smoking has decreased from approximately 42 percent of adults in 1965 to 18 percent today, the rate of reduction in smoking has stalled in the past decade.

Besides removing tobacco products from its shelves, CVS is planning a national smoking cessation program.

MinuteClinic medical clinics are located in CVS pharmacy stores in Ann Arbor, Canton, Farmington Hills, Fraser, Grosse Pointe, Macomb Township, Milford, Northville, Rochester Hills, Shelby Township, Southfield, Walled Lake, Waterford and Wyandotte.