CVS Health to expand focus on helping people quit smoking
CVS Health announced it is expanding its focus on helping people quit smoking. Be The First, the five-year, $50M dollar initiative by the company and the CVS Health Foundation to help create the first tobacco-free generation, is tackling the growing challenge of youth vaping with additional investments and new partners, like Discovery Education and the National Medical Association. The company is also bringing its smoking cessation expertise to areas across its businesses, with an expanded focus in 2020 on increasing effective smoking cessation approaches in Medicaid plans, including in Aetna Better Health managed Medicaid plans and together with CVS Caremark clients interested in creating or expanding smoking cession efforts for their Medicaid members. Also, the Aetna Foundation is pledging an additional $2M to provide educational materials and tools to prevent smoking and vaping to thousands of clinicians who are part of such organizations as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Medical Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association and the National Association of School Nurses. This funding builds on a $10M commitment Be The First made earlier this year to combat vaping. Through that effort, the CVS Health Foundation, with partners like Discovery Education and the CATCH Global Foundation, is creating an educational curriculum on the dangers of vaping that will be made available to every school district in the U.S., with additional resources being made available to parents at no cost. These anti-vaping initiatives strengthen the accomplishments of the Be The First program to date, including reaching nearly 13M young people, helping more than 200 colleges and universities in their efforts to go tobacco-free, and funding the first-ever vaping cessation program in partnership with the Truth Initiative. As the company looks to 2020, it plans to expand its tobacco-cessation efforts in the Medicaid program, where smoking rates are considerably higher than among all adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.3% of Medicaid enrollees smoke, compared to 11.8 % of people enrolled in private insurance.