This is big news. I've long said that pharmacies have no business selling tobacco and alcohol products. It's common sense. But aside from the occasional cocktail party rant about it, the issue hasn't been on my radar, and I was not aware that That CVS is voluntarily making the leap is a sign that the writing is on the wall:
Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, said other local government entities were weighing similar measures. “If you’re in the business of promoting health and providing health care, it’s very hypocritical to be selling tobacco products,” Dr. Brawley said. “It just doesn’t make sense and in fact is almost a conflict of interest.”
And as for driving away customers to competitors, Troyen A. Brennan, the executive vice president and chief medical officer for CVS, said: “It’s obvious that the average person will just find somewhere else to buy cigarettes. What we’re thinking about is if others want to emulate this business decision we’ve made, then over time that will make cigarettes less available — and scientific literature does suggest that a reduction in the availability of cigarettes reduces smoking.”
Dr. Brennan, together with Steven A. Schroeder of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote an op-ed article making the case for eliminating tobacco products from drugstores in The Journal of the American Medical Association published online on Wednesday.It's interesting to see where CVS sees it's business model heading - and good to see the company taking this step now rather than fighting on the wrong side of the issue to squeeze out a few extra dollars profit in the meantime. I have a lot of problems with the big pharmacy chains, but for now, credit where credit is due.
Now, on a tangentially related topic, if the US government would stop bullying other countries over anti-tobacco policies under the guise of "free trade", that would be really great.