TAMPA, Fla. — Vaping has now been linked to hundreds of cases of severe lung disease and even six deaths.
Health officials are scrambling to warn people to stop using e-cigarettes until they get some more solid answers. But it's an uphill battle, especially with teens.
The CDC says in just a year, e-cigarette use has surged 78 percent in high schoolers and nearly 50 percent in middle school-aged kids.
One major retailer is hoping their stand against tobacco products will help make a difference. Five years ago, CVS drug stores made a two-billion-dollar decision to stop selling all tobacco products.
The decision resulted in reducing the number of cigarettes sold by a hundred million packs a year.
Dr. Troy Brennan is the Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health.
"We also found that people who bought their tobacco products at our stores were 36 percent more likely to quit smoking in the following year than the people who didn't," Brennan said.
So you know you won't find traditional tobacco products at CVS, but don't go looking for e-cigarettes either. Especially with so many teens turning to vaping.
Dr. Brennan is especially concerned.
"Especially when it's sold in places that provide other sorts of medications and things like that, drug stores in particular," he said. "But what we find is kids who try these products are four times as likely to initiate smoking tobacco."
CVS Health is hoping more companies like them will take a hit on the bottom line to make a real impact on this dangerous health problem.
"It just doesn't make any sense whatsoever to be selling the worst product from a public health point of view in these stores, and we're just trying to make them more healthcare-oriented."
For more information on CVS Health's commitment to reduce tobacco use, click here.
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