CVS Pharmacy announced on Wednesday, Feb. 5, that they would cease the sale of all tobacco products starting Oct. 1 2014. The decision, was based solely upon the fact that company feels they should not distribute a product that is known to be harmful to the user.
Being the first pharmacy to pull cigarettes from their shelves, they received a major drop in stocks. Their decision to stop sales will cost them two billion dollars in revenue, however the pharmacy chain is not worried. CVS Pharmacy is just that, a pharmacy. They do not need the sale of cigarettes or related products to stay afloat.
When the products are removed from the shelves, CVS plans on helping cigarette smokers quit. They are working on creating clinics and setting up a program that will provide treatment and information on quitting. CVS has also said that they will continue to sell nicotine patches and nicotine gum to ease the process.
This action is setting the bar for businesses that provide health care and pharmacy services. President Obama, a former smoker, said CVS is setting a “powerful example” that will help public health efforts to reduce smoking related deaths and illnesses. There is no word yet on whether other pharmacies like Walgreens or Rite Aid will followsuit.