Consumer Value Store Caremark Corporation discontinues the sale of tobacco in stores

Consumer Value Store Caremark Corporation discontinues the sale of tobacco in stores

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Carly Berke - Staff Writer

Recently, Consumer Value Store (CVS) Caremark Corporation announced that it will no longer sell cigarettes and other tobacco products.  Tobacco products are expected to be completely eliminated from shelves by Oct. 1, 2014.  As a major pharmacy chain in the United States, CVS hopes to inspire other retailers to do the same.

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” said president and Chief Executive Officer of CVS Caremark Larry J. Merlo in a public statement from CVS Pharmacy.  “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

According to,  CVS currently ranks as the largest pharmaceutical clinic in the country with over 7,600 CVS retail stores across the nation as well as over 800 Minuteclinics, which serve as medical clinics inside CVS.  The corporation intends to induce a ripple effect that will cause other major pharmacies to also withdraw tobacco from their stores.  CVS also made this decision with the idea of public health care in mind and the desire to promote a nonsmoking lifestyle.  In an attempt to further help smokers quit, CVS has announced its plan to launch a smoking cessation program that will be held within CVS pharmacies and Minuteclinics. Information and treatment will both be offered to smokers who are interested in quitting, and nicotine patches and gum will still be available.

Even though CVS’ annual revenue is expected to decrease, it plans on following through with the decision.  Estimates guess that CVS will lose a total of two billion dollars without the sale of tobacco products.  However, CVS is not the only company that is losing money.  According to Fox News, adult smoking rates have slowly fallen from 43 percent in 1965 to 18 percent presently, and cigarette sales have also decreased.  According to Euromonitor International, a research company that tracks consumer markets, cigarette sales in the U.S. dropped 30 percent from 2003 to 2013.  Nevertheless, over 480,000 Americans die from smoking annually.

CVS’’ announcement was received with praise from health-oriented associations as well as President Barack Obama.  It has been backed with much support across the nation and hopes that such positive reactions will be a strong factor in inspiring other pharmacies to withdraw their tobacco products.

“It is good to know that the root of smoking problems is being addressed,” said sophomore Spencer Izenstark.  “This decision will encourage smoker to quit, and even if they do not want to quit, they physically will not be able to purchase cigarettes at CVS.”

CVS’ efforts toward a non-smoking lifestyle are expected to impact major pharmaceutical chains of the U.S.  Although it’s annual income will be taking a blow, all products will be completely eradicated from shelves before the end of the year.