CVS pharmacies eliminate tobacco, show societal trends

Bravo, CVS, bravo.

CVS Caremark Corporation recently made the decision to remove all tobacco products from all 7,600 CVS pharmacies and 800 Minute Clinics by Oct. 1, 2014.

This is estimated to take a $2 billion dent out of their earnings, $1.5 billion from tobacco products and $500 million in non-tobacco products bought by tobacco buyers.

As the first national pharmacy chain to end the sale of cigarettes, CVS has taken a fantastic step to solidifying their presence in the healthcare market.

“Tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered,” said Larry Merlo, CVS president and CEO, in a video announcing the move away from tobacco products.

CVS will also begin backing and funding a smoking cessation program. The hope is to help the one in seven smokers seeking help to finally quit while they are still free of many of the harmful side effects of smoking, such as lung cancer and COPD.

Coming from a family with 10-plus prescriptions to cash in each month, I feel better knowing that a company in charge of keeping my family sane and healthy is looking out for me in whatever tiny form that may be. I also recognize that I lucked out in relation to smoking.

With a huge history of smoking and addiction in my family medical tree, having such easy access to cigarettes and tobacco products made it increasingly difficult to say no.

CVS’s move not only promotes their stance in the healthcare market, it is also in line with a few major cities like New York City and Chicago who have banned cigarettes in public spaces.

Smoking is one of those few acts not possessing positive effects to outweigh the bad. It relieves stress, sure, but with such a high chance for addiction and rising prices, it ends up causing more stress than it relieves.

Smoking cigarettes in their modern form hold no other real potential than killing. CVS is making the right move by actually making the move towards creating a healthier world.

People who are anxious about this removal of cigarettes, as well as the rising number of cities banning smoking in public places, have argued that this will only create a dangerous black market for cigarettes.

The argument doesn’t make sense though. The homegrown tobacco, free of additives and massive marketing campaigns, would be much safer and will be considerably less endangering to the majority of the populace than the form we have now.

Those who have said they are against the ban of cigarettes are the same who are afraid of the government regulating American lives. We need regulation though, so that we do not run into the same situation as Virginia’s water supply.

They need not worry, though — this removal of cigarettes is not a government choice but a societal one. It shows that opinions on smoking are turning, that people are ready to quit smoking.

So bravo, CVS. Thank you for making sure that my generation and the next will be one step closer from being rid of COPD and lung cancer caused by cigarettes.

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