The Salem News
---- — To the editor:
Last month, CVS announced its decision to end the sale of tobacco products in all CVS locations. It has been estimated that CVS stands to lose $2 billion in tobacco sales due to this decision. As a registered nurse and a soon to be nurse practitioner, I would like to take a moment to applaud this decision by CVS. As CVS moves further toward health promotion with the addition of Minute Clinics at many of its sites, it is important that they project an appropriate image.
Everyone knows the risk of lung cancer associated with cigarette smoking. However, other effects of smoking are often overlooked. Not only does smoking increase your risk of lung cancer by up to 25 times, but it also increases your risk of developing heart disease or a stroke by two to four times. These risks are further compounded by the obesity epidemic facing America.
Although CVS stands to lose millions of dollars by not selling tobacco products, it is essential that products that carry such health risks are not readily available in places that are providing healthcare. By taking this stand on tobacco products, CVS is one step closer to positioning itself to fill part of the void in the healthcare system created by lack of primary care providers.