Executive Briefings

CVS Quits U.S. Chamber Over Group's Effort to Fight Antismoking Bans Worldwide

The CVS Health Corporation, the parent of the CVS drugstore chain, said on Tuesday that it would resign from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after revelations that the chamber and its foreign affiliates were undertaking a global lobbying campaign against antismoking laws.

CVS, which last year stopped selling tobacco products in its stores, said the lobbying activity ran counter to its mission to improve public health.

“We were surprised to read recent press reports concerning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's position on tobacco products outside the United States,” David R. Palombi, a senior vice president at the company, said in a statement. “CVS Health’s purpose is to help people on their path to better health, and we fundamentally believe tobacco use is in direct conflict with this purpose.”

The New York Times reported last week that the chamber and its vast network of foreign affiliates had targeted restrictions, often in developing countries, on smoking in public spaces, bans on menthol and slim cigarettes, advertising restrictions, excise tax increases, plain packaging and graphic warning labels.

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CVS, which last year stopped selling tobacco products in its stores, said the lobbying activity ran counter to its mission to improve public health.

“We were surprised to read recent press reports concerning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's position on tobacco products outside the United States,” David R. Palombi, a senior vice president at the company, said in a statement. “CVS Health’s purpose is to help people on their path to better health, and we fundamentally believe tobacco use is in direct conflict with this purpose.”

The New York Times reported last week that the chamber and its vast network of foreign affiliates had targeted restrictions, often in developing countries, on smoking in public spaces, bans on menthol and slim cigarettes, advertising restrictions, excise tax increases, plain packaging and graphic warning labels.

Read Full Article