Congratulations to CVS for their recent tobacco cessation declaration! Despite losing $2 billion annually without the cigarette sales revenue, CVS declared that improving Americans' health is worth the cost. According to Helena B. Foulkes, executive vice president of CVS Pharmacy, "Removing tobacco products from our stores is an important step in helping Americans to quit smoking and get healthy." Patients will no longer be tempted to buy a cigarette pack as they refill their prescriptions to treat their hypertension and high cholesterol.
According to the Surgeon General's 2014 report, almost 500,000 Americans die yearly from smoking related causes. The American Heart Association (2012) states smoking increases cardiac stress which causes high blood pressure. Additionally, smoking encourages cholesterol to create a fatty plaque in heart arteries which increases the risk for stroke and heart attacks.
As an aspiring nurse practitioner, I hear patients say "I have to die from something; it might as well be a habit I enjoy." My response: Why are you gambling a healthy and happy lifetime with family and friends for a bad habit? I educate my patients that smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death and quitting is one of the quickest ways to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. As a future nurse practitioner committed to encouraging wholesome lifestyles, I thank the CVS community for collaborating with medical providers as we pursue our goal of a healthier America!