A major pharmacy retailer finally takes a stand. According to recent reports CVS stops selling cigarettes and all other tobacco products in their chain of 7,600 stores across the nation by October 1st, 2014. Smoking alone affects many people across the country, and even though the rate of smokers in the United States has dropped in recent years it still causes a major health concern. The Surgeon General reports that
16 million people have at least one disease from smoking
Smoking accounts for 480,000 deaths annually
Causes 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer
With so many issues arising related to health care and with our nation striving for a healthier status, CVS feels that they are moving in the right direction. For a company that promotes health care this makes complete sense. Selling something this detrimental to one’s health doesn’t exactly promote initiatives towards providing quality care. This is a major step for the retail chain and is going to be quite expensive, so the real question is whether or not their decision is going to set them apart or leave them with a cloud of smoke. Tobacco sales in drugstores are only a small fraction of the industry sales. None the less this move could be the move that creates a positive ripple effect nationwide.
CVS/pharmacy hopes to create a competitive advantage with their move to offer in store clinics, so patients will have an alternative to long waits at the doctor’s office. Although, CVS/pharmacy will have to keep their current relationships with health systems in the U.S. along with continuing to grow and find new relationships in order to really be successful. This comes at a perfect time, with the FDA recently launching its Real Cost Campaign, in hopes to educate America’s youth on the magnitude of tobacco use on one’s health. It is still early in the process of this shift towards promoting quality health care for people across America, but with companies like CVS/pharmacy taking a stand it helps the push nationwide in the anti-tobacco movement.
“It just doesn’t make sense, if you exist to promote health and you sell one of the major causes of death in the U.S.,” said Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.