On Wednesday, CVS, a big drugstore chain announced that it had stopped selling cigars, cigarettes and tobacco products a month earlier than expected. The company changed its name to CVS Health to demonstrate its commitment to improve Americans’ lives.
CVS had made an announcement about the stoppage of sale in February, and it became the first pharmacy to make such a decision. According to MSNBC, the removal of tobacco products from CVS’ 7,700 Pharmacy locations is estimated to cost the company sales of about $2 billion.
President of CVS, Helena B. Foulkes said, “The removal of cigarette and other tobacco products from our stores is an important step in helping Americans to quit smoking and get healthy.”
CVS plans to introduce a sturdy program for smoking cessation throughout the remainder of 2014 and a selection of products for nicotine replacement in select stores. The company hopes to become a provider of health care instead of a mere retail chain.
CBS News reported that Kroger and Walmart have said they would continue with the sale of cigarettes and related products. Anti tobacco activists are stepping up to convince the companies to stop selling tobacco.
Senior vice president for education and advocacy at the American Lung Association, Paul Billing said, “We are going to ramp up the pressure and attention. This really resonates and strikes a powerful chord with the American people. They shouldn’t be selling poison along wide of medicine.”
Walgreen, the largest operator in retail pharmacy has questions on whether the move of retailers not selling tobacco will have an impact on the public health. In a statement, Walgreen said that only 4% of the overall sales of tobacco is comprised of retail pharmacies. Walgreen has 8,100 locations and sells e-cigarettes. While CVS does not offer these products anymore, they are available in convenient stores and pharmacies around the United States.
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To contact the reporter of this story; Yashu Gola at email@example.com