AADR praises CVS for ceasing tobacco sales

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is applauding CVS for being the first national pharmacy chain to cease the sale of tobacco in its stores.

CVS announced that it will stop selling cigarettes and all tobacco products at more than 7,600 U.S. stores by October 1. CEO Larry Merio said cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered.

For nearly 20 years, AADR has had a policy on tobacco use and acknowledges that it is the principal risk factor for oral cancer, according to the association. It also increases the risk for periodontal disease and decreases the ability of oral tissues to heal.

Other oral effects include halitosis (bad breath), decreased ability to taste, and increased staining of the teeth. Smokeless tobacco (spit tobacco) is not a safe alternative to smoking tobacco, the organization noted. Tobacco used in either form is harmful to health and should be discouraged.

As AADR members continue to research and publish on the harmful effects of tobacco on oral health, the group urged dental professionals to discourage the start of tobacco use in any form among their patients and the public, and to facilitate and reinforce cessation among users.

"We hope the action CVS has taken to end the sale of tobacco in its stores will serve as an example to other pharmacies and that they will join CVS in taking a stand against the sale of tobacco products," said AADR President Peter Polverini, DMSc, DDS.

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