Grosowsky explains how CVS tobacco ban targets youth smoking

Reducing kids’ exposure to tobacco products biggest benefit of landmark decision

By Bryan Goodchild and Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

February 13, 2014

The unprecedented decision by giant retail pharmacy chain CVS Caremark to stop selling cigarettes and all other tobacco products later this year promises to be life saving for today’s kids who the tobacco industry hopes to turn into tomorrow’s smokers.

“The tobacco industry specifically uses the retail pharmacy market to target youth,” said Tina Grosowsky, project coordinator for the Central Massachusetts Tobacco-free Community Partnership in the Department of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School. “The fact that CVS has taken this extraordinary measure to remove tobacco products from their shelves is eliminating a huge market that youth use.”

CVS’ decision at the national level follows successful local efforts over the past several years by the seven regional partnerships, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, to encourage Boards of Health across the commonwealth to put regulations into place to ban tobacco sales in local pharmacies.

“We have about 73 communities which have voted to remove tobacco products from all the pharmacies in town,” said Grosowsky. “As that movement goes across the commonwealth, more and more communities are seeing the benefits of reducing the availability of tobacco products for youth.”

Learn more about why today’s youth will be the biggest beneficiaries of the CVS decision in the Expert’s Corner video above.

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