CVS Health aims to create first tobacco-free generation

CVS Health is awarding more than $10 million to support anti-smoking foundations who are targeting teenager consumers,

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is funding anti-smoking foundations to help prevent teenagers from smoking and from using e-cigarettes.

The company announced that it and its charitable foundations will award a total of more than $10 million in 2019 to support youth smoking and e-cigarette prevention strategies and education delivered in classrooms, by clinicians and in communities across the United States. The new commitment, funded through the company and the CVS Health and Aetna Foundations, is part of Be The First, CVS Health's five-year $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation.

"The spread of e-cigarette use among youth jeopardizes the progress made in reducing smoking over the last two decades," said Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer for CVS Health. "By collaborating with experts and aggressively investing in innovative strategies, we believe that we can help reverse this disturbing trend."

According to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey, there are 3.6 million middle and high school students who are current e-cigarette users, a dramatic increase from the more than 1.5 million students the previous year. This represents a 78% increase among high school students, and a 48 percent increase among middle school students.