CVS Health and its Foundation Commit More Than $1 Million in Grants to Support Tobacco Cessation Programs

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced that the company and its foundation has committed to invest more than $1 million in grants to support tobacco cessation and prevention programs. The grants will be distributed to leading health care and community partners working to promote tobacco-free communities, programs that help people kick the habit and help those who don’t smoke to never start. Among the awards are funds to support quit lines operated by National Jewish Health and the American Lung Association, which also partners with CVS Health on the LUNG FORCE initiative to fight cancer. These investments also build on the partnership developed between CVS Health and the American Cancer Society, which operates a quit line supporting the smoking cessation campaign CVS Health launched in September, when the company stopped selling tobacco products. With this announcement, CVS Health joins the American Cancer Society and advocates across the country in recognizing the Great American Smokeout.

“As we mark the Great American Smokeout, CVS Health is proud to make this investment in smoking cessation programs that give people the resources and support they need to quit smoking and lead tobacco free lives,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy at CVS Health. “Our company’s purpose is helping people on their path to better health, and by supporting these dedicated community and health care partners, we are able to extend that purpose into our local communities.”

Other grantees include the Baltimore, Maryland-based B’More for Healthy Babies, with support for an innovative smoking cessation partnership with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield that helps new moms and pregnant women quit smoking, focusing particularly on high risk populations who have limited access to health care services. Another grant will allow CVS Health to partner with the American Lung Association of San Diego to support Live Well San Diego, a municipal, metropolitan-wide Health and Wellness Initiative, administered by the Department of Health, which will provide smoking cessation support and services for 1,750 residents who are currently part of the behavioral health system. Additionally, another grant will support the “Be Smart, Don’t Start” youth tobacco awareness and education program, which recently launched in 16 Connecticut Area Boys & Girls Clubs.

These grants are being made as research from the CVS Health Research Institute, published earlier this year online with Health Affairs, illustrates the impact private sector action can have on smoking rates. Researchers looked at the impact of laws in Boston and San Francisco banning the sale of tobacco in retailers with pharmacies. They found a reduction in tobacco purchasers of up to 13 percent in those communities, meaning that if retailers with pharmacies across the country were to forgo sales of tobacco products, there could be as many as 60,000 fewer tobacco-related deaths per year.

“Retailers with pharmacies can have a significant impact lowering rates of smoking and reducing tobacco-related deaths, and the implications of reductions of this magnitude cannot be overlooked,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “CVS/pharmacy is the first and only national pharmacy chain to end tobacco sales in support of the health and well-being of our patients and customers and we continue to underscore that commitment with our comprehensive smoking cessation program.”

CVS Health’s comprehensive and uniquely personalized smoking cessation program combines the efforts of CVS/pharmacy, CVS/minuteclinic and CVS/caremark to help the seven in ten smokers who want to quit. Designed with input from national experts, it includes four critical components: an assessment of the smoker’s readiness to quit, education to give smokers the information and tools they need to quit, medication support to help curb the desire to use tobacco and coaching to help individuals stay motivated and prevent relapses.

A full list of the smoking cessation programs supported by the grants announced today follows here:

  • American Lung Association
  • National Jewish Health
  • LIFT Health for Teens – San Rafael, CA
  • Live Well San Diego/American Lung Association of San Diego – San Diego, CA
  • CT Area Boys and Girls Club – Hartford, CT
  • Thomas E. Langley Medical Center – Sumterville, FL
  • Tanner Health Systems – Carrollton, GA
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Chapter – Chicago, IL
  • Northwestern Memorial Healthcare – Chicago, IL
  • Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago – Chicago, IL
  • Matthew 25 – Ft. Wayne, IN
  • Indiana Perinatal Network – Indianapolis, IN
  • Oldham County Ministerial Association – LaGrange, KY
  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless – Boston, MA
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute – Boston, MA
  • Fenway Community Health – Boston, MA
  • B’More for Healthy Babies – Baltimore, MD
  • Oakwood Healthcare Foundation – Dearborn, MI
  • City on a Hill Ministries – Zeeland, MI
  • Concord Hospital Trust – Concord, NH
  • Families First of the Greater Seacoast – Portsmouth, NH
  • Seton Health Foundation – Albany, NY
  • Peninsula Counseling Cente – Valley Stream, NY
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA
  • United Way of Rhode Island/RI Department of Health – Providence, RI
  • Interfaith Health Clinic – Knoxville, TN
  • Grace Grapevine – Grapevine, TX
  • Outreach Community Health Centers – Milwaukee, WI

About CVS Health
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,800 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at