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Letter: Smart move, CVS

On behalf of the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration Primary Prevention Tobacco Work Group, we’d like to applaud CVS/Caremark for deciding to stop selling tobacco products, effective Oct. 1.

Tobacco use kills nearly 480,000 people every year in the United States. In New Hampshire the average medical costs per year related to smoking are $729 million. In addition, the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that nearly 21.7 percent of New Hampshire youth smoked cigarettes, cigars or used chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip one or more of the past 30 days.

The move by CVS to stop selling tobacco products is just one step toward changing the norm about tobacco use. If we reduce youth access to tobacco, increase access to tobacco treatment and fund comprehensive tobacco prevention programs, we should be able to send a message to our youth that will increase their ability to make healthy choices.

It is our hope that more pharmacies and other retail establishments will follow suit. For more information about the NHCCC or our work to reduce the cancer burden in New Hampshire, please call 225-0900 or visit our website atnhcancerplan.org.

KATE McNALLY and KIM CORONIS

Concord

(The writers are co-chairs of the Primary PRevention Tobacco Work Group at the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration.)

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