PBL: Consumer Health

CVS Pharmacy made a bold move this month by deciding to put an end to their cigarette sales. This could cost them over $2 billion dollars in profit annually, but when you look at their mission, which is “Helping people on their path to better health”, it’s surprising they didn’t do it sooner.

This would be a great story to share with any health class, regardless of grade level, and not just for the tobacco unit either…

NPR: By Dropping Cigarettes, CVS Gives its Reputation a Boost

We’re working on our Character and Values unit in 8th grade, so it tied in perfectly. What a great example of using values to guide the decision making process. The kids looked up the core values for CVS, which include caring, integrity and accountability, and were able to make some great connections. One of them was curious about the mission and values for tobacco companies, so they looked up Phillip Morris. Not surprisingly, there was quite a bit in there about making money.

And while CVS might be sacrificing a bit of that temporarily, they’ll more than make up for it in the long run. Here’s a report to show the kids from CNN explaining how…

For a lesson extension, check out this Room for Debate from the New York Times:

What Unhealthy Products Should CVS Stop Selling?

Have the students read some of the opinions and form their own. They can group up according to product and create a presentation for the board explaining how it goes against the company’s mission. If they get far enough with it, they could contact CVS directly with an email, petition, well-timed tweet…

Who knows? Maybe they could even get those Flaming Hot Cheetos pulled off the shelf.

For more ideas, check out this one from the opinion pages of The Boston Globe:

CVS tobacco ban just the start. Next: Soda

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