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CVS teams with American Cancer Society to stamp-out tobacco use on campus


WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The CVS Health Foundation has teamed up the American Cancer Society to award grants to 20 U.S. colleges and universities as part of their Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative. 

The $3.6-million multiyear program is intended to award a total of 125 colleges and universities throughout the United States that have the greatest need for stronger tobacco prevention and control. Colleges will use the funds to advocate for, adopt and implement 100% smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. 

“We’re at a critical moment in our nation’s efforts to end the epidemic of smoking and tobacco use, and expanding the number of tobacco-free college and university campuses is an important step in our efforts,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., and chief medical officer for CVS Health. “We’re confident our strategy will drive a significant decline in the number of new college-age smokers, and contribute to the progress being made where a tobacco-free generation in the U.S. seems possible.”

The first 20 colleges to receive the grants are the University of Pennsylvania, Bowling Green University, California State University San Marcos, Davenport University, East Carolina University, El Paso Community College, Indiana University — Bloomington, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Merritt College, Montclair State University, Oakland University, Penn State University, Piedmont Community College, Saint Mary's College of California, Springfield College, St. Xavier University, Texas Christian University, Texas A&M University — Corpus Christi, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College and University of Michigan.

“With our partners at CVS Health, we are excited to support the efforts of many dedicated students, faculty and staff to make their campuses smoke- and tobacco-free using proven strategies that will also reduce tobacco use among students,” said Gary M. Reedy, CEO for the American Cancer Society. “To be successful in creating a tobacco-free generation, it is important that we prevent and eliminate lethal and addictive tobacco use among college students.”

The CVS Health Foundation and American Cancer Society will be accepting online applications for the next round of the Tobacco-Free Generation Initiative. The fall grant cycle will run through Feb. 28 will grant recipients named in May.  

“We are grateful to be among the recipients of the American Cancer Society/CVS Health Foundation tobacco control grant as it recognizes and supports Penn’s commitment to a tobacco-free campus,” said University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. “Under the leadership of Penn pulmonologist Frank Leone, we have developed an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to smoking cessation that has yielded unprecedented success in just two years. Frank Leone and his colleagues understand the complexity of the problem of tobacco dependence and the need to take a long-term view to change tobacco behaviors. This generous grant will greatly aid the University’s ongoing efforts to effectively address this major public health epidemic.”

In addition to this Nov. 14 announcement, the American Cancer Society will host its Great American Smokeout on Nov. 17. The annual event encourages smokers to quit for a day, quit for good or make a plan to quit smoking. 

The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by Woonsocket-based CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. 

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