Walgreens makes commitment to helping smokers quit
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday shared its commitment to helping smokers quit the habit altogether. "We believe that if the goal is to truly reduce tobacco use in America, then the most effective thing retail pharmacies can do is address the root causes and help smokers quit," Walgreens stated.
With about 250,000 retail establishments selling tobacco products in America today, retail pharmacies comprise only 4% of overall tobacco sales, Walgreens noted. A retail pharmacy ban on tobacco sales would have little to no significant impact on actually reducing the use of tobacco.
"Our goal is to help get the U.S. smoking rate, which has leveled off at around 18% of the adult population for a decade, moving lower again," Walgreens stated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that nearly 68% of adult smokers in America want to quit completely. And nearly 43% of smokers in 2010 stopped for more than one day because they were trying to quit.
"As the U.S. retail pharmacy leader and healthcare partner in offering smoking cessation programs, products and initiatives, Walgreens is well positioned and committed to offering consumers alternatives and solutions to help change behavior and quit smoking. We provide a convenient, seamless, one-stop, quit-smoking strategy that we believe can make the difference in successfully quitting for the nearly 68% of adult smokers in America who want to quit completely," the company added.
Walgreens' Balance Rewards for healthy choices program offers smoking cessation content and tools on Walgreens.com, individual support through the Walgreens online Pharmacy Chat and tools to enable participants to track their progress toward smoking cessation while earning Balance Rewards points. Balance Rewards for healthy choices is the first community pharmacy program that includes behavior change training based on noted psychologist Dr. B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits method, Walgreens noted. The training provides pharmacists and Walgreens online Pharmacy Chat agents with the knowledge and resources needed to provide wellness coaching.
Pharmacy Chat supports participants by helping them better understand the path to smoking cessation, including setting a quit date, optimally using over-the-counter and prescription medications and utilizing other tools and supports.