U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) today spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding CVS Caremark's decision to stop selling tobacco products in its stores across America. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"I rise today to applaud CVS Caremark's decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its more than 7,600 stores across the U.S. CVS, which is based in my home district in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, is leading the way in promoting public health and wellness, and I hope other U.S. pharmacies will follow their example.
"I would particularly like to thank Larry J. Merlo, the President and CEO of CVS Caremark, Helena B. Foulkes, the President of CVS/pharmacy, the board of directors, and their staffs for their commitment to putting people over profits.
"As one of the nation's largest retail and pharmacy chains, CVS Pharmacy has helped countless Rhode Islanders and people across the nation better manage their health.
"The negative impacts of tobacco use are well known -- it causes lung cancer, diabetes, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Taking this product off the shelves, continues CVS Caremark's long tradition of helping people improve their health and wellness, and undermines big tobacco's active marketing to persuade future generations of Americans to take up this deadly habit.
"I salute CVS Caremark and their efforts to help Americans live, longer healthier lives, and I am so proud of their decision and corporate leadership."