Local Cancer Doctors and State Surgeon General Applaud CVS Decision
February 5, 2014|WMFE Orlando. Reaction to the CVS Caremark Pharmacy announcement that it will stop selling tobacco products was swift in Central Florida. The move is receiving praise from local oncologists on up to the state surgeon general.
[This East Colonial drive CVS Pharmacy is one of 700 in Florida]
It’s a big deal when the nation’s second largest pharmacy chain says it’s going to walk away 1.5 billion dollars in tobacco sales because selling cigarettes doesn’t fit with its health care image. CVS has 700 stores in Florida- a state that ranks second in the nation for cancer diagnosis and death. UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health Surgical Oncologist Dr. Kenneth Lee says while smoking’s stigma has change, access to cigarettes hasn’t. He says if other stores follow CVS’s lead, it could help the battle against cancer.
“They understand that it’s the number one preventable disease in the world, so once they realize that and they stop the access, I think that helps our cause at the front line,” he says.
Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong released a written statement in which he congratulated CVS for its bold decision. He called it welcome news and urged other retailers to follow suit.