Wednesday, February 5, 2014

News Flash: Smoking Kills

Photo: CVS/Pharmacy

With the age of 50 near the horizon, I look back on my life and take note that not once was I told that smoking was good for me. I remember my father struggling to quit smoking, the slides of black lungs the nurses brought to our school classrooms to show us the dangers of smoking and the “bad kids” who would smoke on outside of the corner grocery store who no doubt sold the gang the cancer sticks. In my lifetime I saw the disappearance of cigarette TV commercials, magazine ads and billboards and the reverse rise of anti-smoking TV commercials, magazine ads and billboards. I’ve seen tobacco companies defend for years on how smoking was not harmful to our health only to become the biggest spenders of anti-smoking advertising. (The new 2014 “TRUTH” anti-smoking campaign is paid through fees charged by the FDA under a 2009 law that gave the agency authority over the tobacco industry.)

David Millar, David McLean and Eric Lawson, all “Marlboro Man” actors, have died due to cigarettes, and in a sense, their employer. Miller died of emphysema in 1987, McLean died of lung cancer in 1995 and just last Thursday, January 30, 2014 Lawson died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


In August of 1996, Target department stores made headlines announcing that the chain would no longer sell tobacco products in their stores. Today, CVS/Pharmacy has announced that more than of its 7,600 stores will be doing the same by October 1st of this year. This is a move to be truly praised and if I had a CVS store in my area, I would begin to show my solidary to the chain by not shopping at the other drug stores.

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