"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

CVS and Their Decision to No Longer Sell Tobacco Products

It is admirable that CVS has joined the many independent pharmacies across the county in deciding not to sell tobacco products.  Most pharmacies haven't sold cigarettes in decades, but as of October 1, 2014, CVS will cease their sales.  The impact on CVS is around $2 billion in cigarette sales alone, WOW!  Now you know why it took so long.  Still no word from Walgreen's, the primary competitor to CVS on their decision, but they can't hold themselves out as having a strong commitment to health care, but continue to sell cigarettes.  Then there is Walmart that continues to sell cigarettes while espousing their commitment to healthier communities.  An interesting tidbit on that subject; last year at a Governance Conference, one of the WMHS board members asked the Chief Medical Officer for Walmart who was talking about their commitment to health care now and into the future as well as lecturing hospital leaders on the cost of health care, why Walmart continues to sell cigarettes and unhealthy foods if they are so committed to health care?  His response was that they continue to study the matter, but recognize that something has to be done.  I guess not anytime soon since the sales of both continue and will most likely grow.  By the way, Target has never sold cigarettes in its stores, but there is welcomed news for smokers; the dollar stores that seem to be opening another new store on an hourly basis, at least in my area, are now selling cigarettes at their locations.  They say that their shoppers at these discount stores tend to be smokers and they are trying to meet their needs.  I guess they never thought to do something responsible and not sell cigarettes in an attempt to get their shoppers healthier so they are around longer to shop in their stores.  Oh well, congrats to CVS on your decision but why does the decision take eight months to implement

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