Statement from the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Nicholas Toumpas
Concord, NH - On behalf of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, I want to congratulate CVS Caremark on their announcement to stop selling all tobacco products in their stores nationwide. As one of the largest pharmacies in the United States, this is a bold and courageous move on the part of this company. Tobacco use causes enormous health consequences from heart disease to stroke to cancer and chronic lung conditions. These add significant costs to our healthcare system here in New Hampshire and nationwide. The average annual medical costs related to smoking in New Hampshire are $729 million. In the State, almost 18% of adults still smoke, and smoking is linked to 1,700 deaths per year. It is everyone’s responsibility to discourage youth and young people from taking up smoking and to encourage smokers to quit. Tobacco use affects everyone, not just the users, but their family, friends and society. Let’s use CVS Caremark’s announcement as a catalyst for change and let’s all take a major step closer to a healthier New Hampshire and a healthier United States.