CVS Health Resigns From U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Over International Tobacco Advocacy

You may remember last fall when CVS removed tobacco products from its stores, maybe realizing that selling medicine in the back of the store and addictive carcinogen sticks in the front is kind of a confusing message. However, CVS Health is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization doing its best to lobby for America’s tobacco industry in other countries. CVS resigned from the Chamber today for that reason.

“CVS’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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement about CVS leaving the Chamber of Commerce. Yes, a critical person would probably point at the candy, cookies, and soda on the chain’s shelves, we should note that the chain has been working on improving the healthfulness of their snack food selection in drugstores.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for its part, says that the New York Times’ story from last week inaccurately represents their work against anti-smoking legislation in developing countries. about their efforts on behalf of tobacco companies is a “concerted misinformation campaign about the US Chamber’s position on smoking.”

Will other companies join CVS in quitting? As we pointed out last week, businesses in all sectors belong to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, from tobacco companies to health insurers. Other firms may choose to stay out of this dispute, or follow CVS in resigning from the organization.

CVS Health quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce over tobacco stance [Reuters]

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