Earlier today, CVS Caremark announced that it will stop selling cigarettes and all tobacco products at its more than 7,600 national stores by October of 2014.
“Hackensack University Health Network applauds CVS Caremark on this monumental decision, and we are proud to be their partner in care,” said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of the Hackensack University Health Network. “As the state’s largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services, and as one of the largest health networks in the state of New Jersey, we understand the responsibility we have to not only treat patients when they are sick; but to also provide resources to keep them well. From our smoke-free campuses to our free employee Quit for Life smoking cessation programs, we remain dedicated to those suffering from nicotine addiction.”
Garrett continues, “For CVS Caremark to make this type of decision truly demonstrates their unwavering commitment to the people it serves. Despite the billions of dollars in revenue that tobacco products generate, CVS Caremark is making a bold statement that it values the health of its consumer base more than its profit margin. This is a commendable and admirable move to make in today’s healthcare climate.”
In May of 2012, Hackensack University Health Network and Minute Clinic, the retail healthcare division of CVS Caremark, signed a clinical affiliation to expand access to convenient, affordable healthcare services in northeast New Jersey. Under the agreement, our physicians serve as medical directors for seven MinuteClinic walk-in clinics inside select stores in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Essex counties.
MinuteClinic and HackensackUMC, the Network’s flagship hospital, also collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives, and refer patients to one another when appropriate. HackensackUMC accepts patients requiring a level of care not provided by MinuteClinic; while MinuteClinic offers patients walk-in services for common family illnesses and wellness and prevention services.