TULSA, OK – [February 5, 2014] – CVS Caremark announced that it will end the sale of tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores throughout the United States in a landmark move that sets a powerful example to other retailers.
“We are pleased that CVS, which operates 13 pharmacies within Tulsa County, has made the commitment to support the health of their customer base by eliminating tobacco products from its shelves,” said Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “Hopefully, this will quickly set a precedent for other retailers who can impact the rising costs of healthcare by reducing the accessibility of products proven to be the number one cause of preventable death.”
The Tulsa Health Department has a number of reasons to commend the announcement by CVS. The department’s Community of Excellence in Tobacco Control (CX Tobacco) program, funded in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, encourages community organizations and events to reject tobacco industry sponsorship and works to prevent youth access to tobacco. A “Community of Excellence” in tobacco control is one in which social norms consistently point to no tobacco use throughout the community. CX Tobacco has helped more than 14 local school districts adopt a 24/7 tobacco-free campus policy; and more than 40 local companies have adopted tobacco-free campus policies. The program also facilitates the Tobacco Free Coalition for Tulsa County.
“When we surveyed thousands of Tulsa County residents to find out what they believe to be the greatest health concern in our community, tobacco use came in the top six,” said Dr. Dart. “Reducing the proportion of adults using tobacco and reducing initiation of the use of tobacco products by children and adolescents are among the objectives laid out in the Tulsa County Community Health Improvement Plan.”
The Tulsa County CHIP establishes measureable goals and objectives for six priority areas identified by community residents – poor diet and inactivity, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, chronic disease, access to healthcare, and tobacco use – and includes strategies to achieve these goals. The plan, developed by the department’s Pathways to Health partnership, takes into account the unique social and economic demographics of Tulsa County.
“The CHIP indicates that nearly 27 percent of Tulsa County adults use some type of tobacco product,” said Dr. Dart. “As a public health organization we are tasked with ensuring that our residents have a healthy environment in which to live, work and play. Bold leadership is needed from private and public sector partners like CVS to accelerate progress against tobacco.”
To contact the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, which offers free quit coaching and free patches, gum or lozenges, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for English or 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) for Spanish-speaking callers, or visit on at OKhelpline.com.
Tobacco Free Coalition for Tulsa County
The Tobacco Free Coalition is a CX grantee of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust serving Tulsa County and promoting smoke free environments, tobacco cessation and tobacco prevention. For more information about joining the Tobacco Free Coalition contact Vanessa Hall-Harper, email@example.com or 918-595-4226.
Pathways to Health
The Tulsa Health Department’s Pathways to Health (P2H) partnership was formed in 2008 to unite community partners working to improve the health of Tulsa County. P2H brings together more than 40 local agencies, organizations, corporations and health systems working toward health improvement. The partnership serves as the hub to connect community health leaders and provide them with the latest health research and data available for our community, including the Tulsa County CHIP which is updated every three years. No single organization has the necessary depth of resources to improve community health, but P2H and the Tulsa County CHIP demonstrate the impact possible when everyone works toward the same goals. For more information please visit pathwaystohealthtulsa.org.
Community Health Improvement Plan
The Tulsa County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is a comprehensive plan produced by Pathways to Health that sets goals to improve the health of Tulsa County residents. The Tulsa County CHIP was developed through 18 months of research, including a phone survey that asked thousands of Tulsans what health issues mattered most to them.
The plan establishes measureable goals and objectives for six priority areas identified by community residents – poor diet and inactivity, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, chronic disease, access to healthcare, and tobacco use – and includes strategies to achieve these goals. The plan takes into account the unique social and economic demographics of Tulsa County. Additionally, the Tulsa County CHIP will be updated every three years to reflect the progress and improvements made within each objective. Progress reports will be released every July.