CVS Torches Tobacco Sales

CVS Caremark Corp. announced in February 2014 that it would discontinue the sale of tobacco in their stores starting Oct.1. Their decision to stop selling tobacco products in their 7,000 stores across the nation has become a topic of controversy again in recent weeks. Some oppose the decision because they believe the pharmacy chain should give people the choice to use tobacco or not, but many still praise the company for its decision to promote health among its customers.

An article by ABC News describes the possibility of other major retailers discontinuing tobacco sales after CVS’ sales results after tobacco is pulled from the store shelves. As the second-largest drugstore chain in the United States, the results from CVS may establish precedent for decisions about tobacco sales in other pharmacies in the future.

Interestingly, since CVS announced it would get rid of tobacco, its shares have “hit new all-time highs 10 times,” according to the ABC News article.

The positive results in the stock market may help make up for its $2 billion loss in annual sales when tobacco is cut from stores. In the current period of recovery from the recession, drugstore chains have struggled to keep up with major chains like Walmart.

While CVS is attracting attention for taking a stand for its customers’┬áhealth, it’s not the first retailer to send the same message. Target Corp. rid its stores of tobacco in 1996, explaining it wished to focus on the health and well-being of the community.

What do you think of CVS’s move to toss tobacco in their stores? Do you think it’s a good decision because it is a pharmacy and should be promoting health or should customers decide for themselves whether they should smoke?

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