America's second largest pharmacy chain, CVS Caremark Corp, announced today that it will quit selling tobacco products in its 7,600 stores this year. CVS shelves should be clear of the noxious weed by this October. The company said that pulling this product will result in around $2 billion a year in lost sales - some of which may be made up through smoking cessation classes being offered in its pharmacies.
There has been a prolonged drop in tobacco use in the United States since the mid-1960's. At that time, 43% of Americans smoked. The usage is now down to just 18% of the population. Cigarette sales in the United States fell 31.3% between 2003 and 2013. Clearly CVS sees which way the winds of public tolerance are blowing and has elected to go with the flow rather than cling to the fading and unhealthy past.
Walgreen's - America's largest pharmacy chain - needs to follow suit, and both chains need to quit selling liquor. Wal-Mart - America's third largest pharmacy chain - needs to quit selling tobacco, liquor, and guns and ammo. Companies who are allegedly focused on promoting health should get these killers off of the shelves!
Good work, CVS - lead the way!