Even if you don’t smoke, you should be celebrating CVS’s latest move. Starting October 1 of this year, you will no longer be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products from a CVS pharmacy, because the store won’t carry them. Though this decision could cost them more than $2 billion in revenue loss in 2014 alone, it sends a huge message to the Tobacco industry – we’re all tired of swallowing your smoke and mirrors.
In a written statement, CVS Caremark CEO Larry J. Merlo commented on the reason behind the decision:
“We’ve come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered. 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. . .Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”
He also references the over 480,000 annual deaths that are linked to cigarette use.
Perhaps CVS was inspired by an article published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Viewpoint, in which authors stated:
“The paradox of cigarette sales in pharmacies has become even more relevant recently, in large part because of changes in the pharmacy industry. Most pharmacy chains are retooling themselves as an integral part of the health care system. They are offering more counseling by pharmacists, an array of wellness products and outreach to clinicians and health care centers. Perhaps more important, pharmacies are moving into the treatment arena, with the advent of retail health clinics. These retail clinics, originally designed to address common acute infections, are gearing up to work with primary care clinicians to assist in treating hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes all conditions exacerbated by smoking.”
Tobacco companies also add another 599 unnecessary chemicals, including arsenic, to cigarettes that make them far worse than the tobacco our American Indian ancestors smoked through a peace pipe. While their tobacco contained even medicinal herbs, our modern cigarettes are replete with carcinogenic toxins. No wonder the effects of smoking can be so detrimental.
Furthermore, it’s reported that 90% of American-grown tobacco is GMO, so people are also unknowingly inhaling herbicides and pesticides every time they smoke.
Not only does this move send a message to the Tobacco companies, but it also sticks it to Big Ag and Biotech. Good going on this one, CVS.