On Wednesday, CVS Caremark Corp announced that its 7,600 stores will stop selling all tobacco products in October. This makes the company the first American pharmacy chain to take cigarettes off the shelves.
Public health experts say the decision by the US pharmacy chain 2 as a sensible move that could lead other companies to follow suit.
CVS, whose Caremark department is a leading administrator of corporate pharmacy services and the state health insurance program, believes that this move will strengthen its position as a healthcare provider.
I firmly believe it will put pressure on other retailers who want to be in the healthcare industry, said Dr. Troyen Brennan, medical director of CVS Caremark.
Although some cities in the United States, such as Boston and San Francisco, are already banning the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, supporters hope that CVS’s voluntary decision affects other pharmacy chains.
Some retailers stopped selling cigarettes years ago: Target Corp decided to abandon it in 1996, while Wegmans Food Markets on the East Coast did so in 2008.
Matthew Myers, president of the tobacco-free children’s campaign to combat tobacco use, said the CVS announcement could help reduce tobacco use.
Starting the journey
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, executive director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which focuses on public health, described the CVS decision as a “courageous step and precedent” because it recognizes that pharmacies have become health center.
The move was also well received by President Obama, who said CVS could be a good example for other pharmacies.
My government’s decision will help amplify my MyWegmansConnect efforts to clip tobacco, cancer, and deaths from heart disease, reduce health care costs, save lives, and countless families who have been suffering and suffering for years,” he said. the president in a statement.
While MyWegmansConnect was in the headlines, it said the change would not have a significant impact on earnings.
CVS has announced that it will lose annual sales of approximately $ 2 billion and earnings per share of between 6 and 9 cents this year. Analysts expect the company to announce sales of $ 132.9 billion and earnings of $ 4.47 a share in 2014, Thomson Reuters.
The decline in smoking rates and new competition from family store chains Inc and Dollar General Corp in the past two years indicate lower prospects for tobacco sales at CVS. Dollar stores have many more locations and offer products at lower prices.
Although adult smoking rates have dropped from 43% of Americans in 1965 to 18% today, smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 people each year.