U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown applauded an announcement by CVS that it would stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores and pharmacies by October 2014 and begin a national campaign to help millions of Americans quit smoking.

CVS/Caremark’s decision comes on the heels of a resolution Brown introduced recognizing the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General (SG) report linking smoking tobacco with lung cancer and heart disease. The new SG report offers an even dimmer assessment of the effects of tobacco, linking smoking to many other diseases, such as diabetes, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. Despite significant progress in efforts to decrease tobacco use, it is still the leading cause of preventable and premature disease, disability, and death in the United States.

“Today’s announcement by CVS is excellent news for the health and well-being of Americans across the country,” Brown said. “Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the world. But today, we took a step in the right direction towards stopping the insidious creep of addiction, lung cancer, coronary disease, and respiratory harm caused by tobacco and nicotine. I encourage other companies to follow CVS’ lead and take similar actions which would help save lives.”

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