Online Exclusive: CVS Stops Sale of Cigarettes and Tobacco Products Nationwide

Photo by Graig Graziosi

By Jenna Latcheran

Starting this October, CVS Pharmacy will stop the sale of cigarette and tobacco products in all nationwide stores.

This decision came about due to the role of evolving health care and CVS’s recent name change to CVS Health.

“Now more than ever, pharmacies are on the front lines of health care, becoming more involved in chronic disease management to help patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All of these conditions are made worse by smoking,” Michael DeAngelis, director of public relations, said. “Cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is delivered. This was the right thing to do.”

CVS Pharmacy members and nurse practitioners are able to provide anyone wanting to quit the necessary support and guidance to do so.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website states that 68.8 percent of current smokers would like to stop smoking altogether, 52.4 percent had made a quit attempt in the past year, 6.2 percent had recently quit.

Counseling and medication are both effective for treating tobacco dependence, and using them together is more effective than using either one alone, stated the CDC website.

Katie Stears, Youngstown State University student, said she has been an avid smoker for three years and smokes around six cigarettes a day, even though she is aware of the risks.

“I am absolutely aware of the risks and diseases of smoking. I am not ready to quit anytime soon though,” she said.

Stears went into detail about how she does smoke on campus and how she feels judged and perceived differently for doing so.

“I get good grades and when I tell people I smoke they are surprised,” she said. “I feel stereotyped when people see me smoking.”

Stears also discussed how she thinks it is important that CVS stopped the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products because of the new, healthy approach they took, and because they are a pharmacy.

“I think it is great that CVS is stopping the sell cigarettes. CVS is a huge pharmacy and the store has a healthy approach,” Stears said.

DeAngelis explained the amount of tobacco-related deaths each year.

“Smoking is the leading cause of premature disease and death in the United States with more than 480,000 deaths annually,” he said. “There is evidence developing that indicates that removing tobacco products from retailers with pharmacies will lead to substantially lower rates of smoking with implications for reducing tobacco-related deaths.”

Even though CVS will be promoting a healthier lifestyle, they are projecting a total loss of $2 billion in annual revenue. CVS public relations feel this change will better the company in the long run. This change is already helping millions of customers quit their smoking habit.

“Our business outlook is healthy and we look at this as an investment in our future and in building the health care company we expect to be in the