Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What do you think of CVS not selling cigs? Did they read the new WHO cancer report?

So, I read an article during my lunch break that was very startling and it had to do with cancer.

A report that recently came out from WHO or the World Health Organization stated that they believe that the cancer rate will increase by 57% in the next 20 years. That would mean that the amount of cases of cancer would rise from 14 million to 22 million.

Experts are saying more and more that it will be impossible to "treat our way out of cancer." I would assume that they mean that the rate at which cancer is being diagnosed is far faster than any treatments can be developed to keep in under control or possibly stop/reverse it.

There are some positives and in the essence of being fair, some of the statistics that explain this information have some caveats. For example, we have to take into account larger populations who are living longer and also have to do with a much larger elderly population. More people are living longer which means the statistical rate at which larger/longer living populations will get cancer, increases with it.

However, they state that the two MAIN ways that we can curb this cancer rate are listed as reducing alcohol consumption and curbing obesity rates. They state that 1/3 of the most common cancers could be prevented through maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Novel idea, huh?

The leading cause of cancer in the world, according to this report, remains to be lung cancer caused by the inhalation of carcinogens. AKA- smoking. These cases equal 1.8 million cases a year most of which are fatal diagnosis with 1.6 million of those cases causing death. It still boggles my mind why anyone would take up this habit to begin with, knowing that it has 0 health benefits and does nothing but kill you. For those who say "it's a stress reliever" well so is yoga and meditation, those can be done for free and make you healthier instead of slowly killing you.

So, that is the perfect segway into the big news that hit today about CVS. CVS announced that they will be halting the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products starting October 1st in an effort to remain true to their credo of helping people live healthier lives. Some say it's a re branding campaign, probably some components of both.

On a personal note, my own company will be going smoke free in 2015. This means that no one is allowed to smoke anywhere on the property. As a non-smoker that makes me happy to hear that I don't have to breath in nasty, stale cigarette air. Obviously though, I am biased.

I give a huge thumbs up to CVS for taking this stance for 2 reasons. The first reason being that they are actually one of the few companies who is willing to put their beliefs and credo above profits. It is estimated that they will lose 1-2 billion dollars a year in revenue.

The second reason being that they are trying to help people make good decisions about their health. With the cancer reports findings, it looks like we could use some help!

However, not everyone is happy about this. While the majority of people that I have seen approve of the decision and see it's healthful impact, others are not pleased. Look at some of the tweets that you can find if you search the public #CVS hashtag.

Eric Shapiro @EricShapiro3 4h
It's not the role of drugstore chains to cure bad habits & it's not "courageous" to be a corporate busybody.

Emily! @EmilyF_NC 2m
If was interested in consumer health, half their store wouldn't be taken up by Russell Stover this week. I'm not buying it
Oz Banks @ozbanks1 5m
In protest, I'm chain smoking in front of every CVS in town while lighting homeless, elderly, and children on fire!
So, with new ads coming out to turn off teen smokers, cigarettes being taxes at a higher rate, no smoking in bars/entryways,restaurants and now major retailers refusing to sell them - what will happen to tobacco? Will we actually manage to move towards a society where lung cancer rates bottom out? Will we be healthier as a whole?

I don't know but I for one am happy to see ANY movement towards a healthier America. Now if we can get people moving and eating better - we will live forever! Mwahaha!