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CVS commits $10M to eradicate tobacco use among nation’s youth

BY Brian Berk

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health will spend $10 million in new and expanded partnerships and programs to launch the second year of Be The First, its five-year, $50 million commitment in an effort to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation.

Introduced in March 2016, the program is targeted toward youth and young adults who currently smoke or are at risk of becoming regular tobacco users; the country's 3 million elementary school children who, without early tobacco education, may become future tobacco users; and adult smokers who expose children to tobacco use. 

"Tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, yet 2,100 youth and young adults still become daily cigarette smokers," said Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health. "CVS Health recognizes that by bringing together experts in the public health community and aggressively implementing strategies to reduce tobacco use, we have the opportunity to deliver the first tobacco-free generation.

According to CVS, since launching the initiative, it has reached nearly 5 million young people with anti-smoking programming and has helped 20 colleges and universities pursue 100% smoke-and tobacco-free campus policies.

"In the year since we introduced Be The First, we've seen very good progress, but we know there is much more to be done in schools, on college campuses and in our communities," said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. "We're pleased to sustain this momentum by expanding partnerships with best-in-class organizations and identifying new partners that will bring the expertise needed to move us one step closer to the first tobacco-free generation."

CVS also announced the CVS Health Foundation is funding a new online training program with courses to train youth and adults to become tobacco prevention ambassadors. These courses are focused on how tobacco affects youth, including the growing availability of candy-flavored e-cigarettes and cigars, and ways for people to advocate for tobacco-free communities. The announcement of this new resource coincides this week with Kick Butts Day on March 15, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids' national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and mobilize their communities in fighting tobacco use.

"CVS Health has shown tremendous leadership in helping people lead tobacco-free lives by bringing the public health and private sector communities together to work on this public health crisis," said Matthew L. Myers, president, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and member of CVS Health's Be The First national advisory council. "We look forward to continuing to work with CVS Health to improve the lives of America's children and young adults and win the fight against tobacco for good."

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NACDS launches advertising campaign as RxImpact Day approaches

BY Brian Berk

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores introduced an advertising campaign, referred to as its “Access Agenda,” in preparation for its RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill, taking place March 14 and March 15 in Washington D.C. The ads state “Pharmacists provide access to better healthcare every day,” and “We’re here to provide access to health policy solutions.”

“NACDS will bring our ‘Access Agenda’ to Capitol Hill with the personal insights and experiences of pharmacy team members who serve as the face of neighborhood healthcare,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “The ads emphasize the point that pharmacy is a go-to source for public policy solutions, just as pharmacy is a go-to source for accessible, quality and affordable health and wellness services.”

The ads refer viewers to a microsite summarizing policy positions that advocates will take to members of Congress. Among them, NACDS is urging a commitment to the cost-effective prescription drug benefit in Medicaid and in Medicare amid the current discussions of potential changes to the Affordable Care Act. NACDS also is urging enactment of the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592 and S. 109), to improve healthcare access for medically underserved Medicare patients.

“NACDS is drawing attention to pharmacy’s role in a positive and proactive public dialogue about healthcare issues. For example, in addition to our meetings on Capitol Hill, the NACDS RxIMPACT program welcomes members of Congress for pharmacy tours and other in-district and in-state events, which are incredibly helpful for demonstrating real-life healthcare issues in real-life settings,” Anderson explained.

“NACDS is setting the tone for even higher levels of collaboration that we are seeking with other segments of the healthcare delivery system, with policymakers and with thought leaders. NACDS is committed to thinking like a start-up, and to positioning the Association more like a think-tank to collaborate for innovative solutions,” he concluded.

This year marks the ninth time NACDS has had RxIMPACT Day on Capitol Hill.

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Walgreens Boots Alliance fills chief marketing, chief merchandising positions

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance on Friday named two executives to the chief marketing officer and chief merchandising officer positions, promoting Adam Holyk and Joe Hartsig, respectively, to those roles.

Both will assume their new roles as of April 1 and report to Alex Gourlay, co-COO for Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Holyk and Hartsig will be succeeding Linda Filler, who was Walgreens Boots Alliance president retail products and chief merchandising and marketing officer, and in February announced her pending departure.

"Adam Holyk, currently a member of the WBA corporate strategy team, will return to Walgreens to lead the marketing organization," Walgreens shared with Drug Store News in an emailed statement. "Adam began his career with Walgreens in 2011 in the customer insights group, which at the time, was part of marketing. Previously, Holyk held senior roles at dunnhumby, a leading marketing analytics consultancy working with Kroger and Macy's, and Shoppers Drug Mart managing the most successful retailer loyalty program in Canada."

Regarding Hartsig, "[he]will continue in his role leading Walgreens merchandising team, which he has done since August of last year," Walgreen stated. "In addition to leading the merchandising team, he will oversee digital commerce and mobile services with a strategic focus on strengthening the company’s omni-channel capabilities."

Hartsig joined Walgreens in September 2015 as group VP merchandising strategic projects, and led the marketing, loyalty and digital commerce organizations.  Prior to this, Hartsig was chief merchandising and marketing officer for Essendant, a Fortune 500 wholesaler of business essentials, and SVP merchandising at Sam's Club, a division of Walmart.
 
Hartsig will also have a reporting line into Annie Murphy, chief customer officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Holyk will have a reporting line into Andy Gibson, SVP, director, global consumer brands for Walgreens Boots Alliance, the Chicago-based retailer noted.
 

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