CVS Caremark to Stop Selling Tobacco at all CVS/pharmacy Locations

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 42,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day {1}.

Last week, CVS Caremark announced it would stop selling cigarettes and tobacco at its’ 7,600 pharmacy locations by October 201 4, and will launch a program this spring to include information and treatment on smoking cessation at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinics.

Some may argue this won’t make a big impact on tobacco since less than 4% of people get their cigarettes from drug stores (Euromonitor International 2013 Research Study), but it could have a big impact on CVS’s bottom line. The company is projecting it will lose $2 billion dollars. It’s stand could still be influential as the The Wall Street Journal wrote that “CVS’s move is expected to put pressure on its main rivals—Walgreens, Rite Aid Corp and even Wal-Mart Stores to adopt similar measures.” 2014 may not be a top profits year for CVS, but perhaps a nomination for The World’s Most Ethical Companies List is in order (ethisphere.com if you are interested in the current list).

Read the full press and perhaps strongly consider where you buy your next bottle of cough medicine this winter. http://info.cvscaremark.com/newsroom/press-releases/cvs-caremark-stop-selling-tobacco-all-cvspharmacy-locations

{1}- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2014 Feb 6].

Author: Bethany Bullard     Health & Wellness Coordinator    

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