CVS stores are taking a bold stand against tobacco products. The nation’s largest pharmacy chain will no longer sell cigarettes or chewing tobacco after September.
CVS estimates it will lose $2 billion annually by getting out of the tobacco business. ALA President Harold Wimmer believes the decision will improve public health dramatically especially when it comes to younger smokers.
The retailer said the move makes CVS/pharmacy the first chain of national pharmacies to take tobacco products off the shelves.
“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”
College students Sylvia Lakowski and Rachel Wilson are younger smokers, who say the CVS decision will not prevent them from taking a puff.
The City of Chicago is taking on tobacco use with a series of new ordinances. In April, stores will be forced to move “e-cigarettes” behind the counter of stores, later this year, e-cigs will be banned indoors and anywhere traditional smoking is prohibited. Also, sales of menthol and other flavored tobacco will be prohibited from within 500 feet of schools. The Chicago health commissioner says the CVS move compliments efforts by the city.
The Chicago health commission says the CVS move compliments efforts by the city.
“This sends a strong message that health and smoking don’t mix.”