No More Smokes at CVS

[FILE] A close-up photograph showing two packs of Marlboro brand cigarettes.  (CNN)

[FILE] A close-up photograph showing two packs of Marlboro brand cigarettes. (CNN)

NEW YORK, New York – CVS Caremark has followed through with its long-promised cigarette ban, as the tobacco-free pharmacy chain officially changed its name to CVS Health.

“The sale of cigarettes and tobacco at CVS pharmacy stores ends today,” said Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS, in a video statement on the company web site. “By eliminating the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans.”

CVS stopped selling cigarettes nearly a month earlier than expected, since the chain had previously announced the ban would go into effect by Oct. 1.

CVS, which has about 7,700 retail pharmacies, announced earlier this year that it would be the first major pharmacy chain to stop selling cigarettes at all its stores. Prior to the companywide ban, the chain sold cigarettes at all but two stores in San Francisco and dozens of stores in Massachusetts, in compliance with local anti-tobacco ordinances.

The company has estimated that it could lose about $2 billion in annual sales. But that’s a fraction of its revenue, which totaled $126 billion in 2013. Much of the revenue comes from healthcare services such as walk-in clinics and prescription drug coverage.

4 comments

  • BrutallyHonest

    But you can still get your alcohol!! Smart move CVS. I could care less if you sell ciggarettes or not, but if you are not selling them due to the health risks, then why do you still sell alcohol, candy, other junk food, pop, ect…

    • K

      In moderation, the items you mention have not shown to carry the same threat to health as cigarettes. There are people who have a gene that may cause them to develop cancer from as few as 6 months of smoking . Yes, there are people who smoke for a lifetime and never develop health issues from (it).

      • BrutallyHonest

        Always love the people defending alcohol. Alcohol is just as harmful has a ciggarette. There are people that can get drunk off a 6 pack, then drive and kill someone.

      • K

        ‘defending alcohol’? Odd phrasing…. I didn’t even specify alcohol. Is it yourself or someone you know who has the problem?

        There are people who can have a seizure due to blood sugar levels while driving and kill someone. There are people who can be stung by a bee that flies in their window, go into anaphylactic shock while driving and kill someone. Not sure how you felt how impaired motor skills from excessive consumption in one session was some form of comparison.

        For your analogy to be closer to apples-to-apples, we’d have to be talking about a cigarette smoker lighting themselves on fire after falling asleep with a cigarette, catching multi-family building on fire, and killing someone. For my example to be apples-to-apples, the scenario would need to be exactly as I’ve already described. A light, casual smoker can still develop cancer of the lungs or throat. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of a light, casual drinker developing liver disease. Certainly not one who only drank for 6 months and then quit.

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