CVS and Tobacco, Do they Really Care?

So, CVS is going to stop selling Tobacco Products! CVS Cares, the “Health Care Company”, or so they tout.

I’m not going to defend tobacco products in general since of course there is health risk. I would think everyone on this planet, and maybe a few other planets know this by now.

I’m also not going to dictate what a store can, or can’t… should, or shouldn’t sell in their store.

However, I just love when big companies make health choices for people, especially ones that are just so… marketable. They claim they are trying to market themselves as a health care company… However they aren’t doing away with their Liquor section, the junk food section, the soda. We won’t even delve into all the crap that comes out of the pharmacy in the name of health. Have you watched those pill commercials? Everyone in them are the pictures of health after they take that golden little pill while the small print voice over guy, in as fast a speak he can do, talks about coma, death, heart attack, cancer and and all the other just mere side effects one may experience. But hey… talk to your Dr. about taking it cause a zit on your chin may just be worth the cancery side effect yes? Then of course there is the couple that sits in separate bathtubs, in the woods, after her man has supposedly had the erection of his life. (I still don’t get the bathtub reference. Is it because he was hard as porcelain? Is it because after all that sex they needed a bath, outside, in the woods? Get it, the woods?)

Smokers, eventually, have health problems. We all know that. Emphysema, Heart trouble, Lung Cancer… They are all out there for you to enjoy later in life if you choose to partake in the smoke. Health Insurance companies make you pay more if you are a smoker. I have even heard the argument that the reason health care costs are so high for everyone is because of smokers. However, what about the other non-related smoking health risks that seem to get ignored by the majority of the population? Let’s talk obesity for a second. Obesity, the number one cause of Diabetes Type II related illness. Aside from all the health problems diabetes brings, there are knee problems, back problems, breathing problems, injuries. These are problems that can start in mere childhood, prompting an influx of Doctor visits, Hospital visits etc. Yet, if you are a smoker, check this box. YOU are the problem with health care costs, because we know, at the end of your life 30, 40, 50 years down the road, you will need more care than you do now. Plus, smoking smells and a lot of people just don’t like it. Course I don’t appreciate the smell of day old alcohol pouring out of people’s pores, but I guess that’s just me.

I could go on the theory that what CVS is doing is a step in the right direction, and really, it is a good thing I guess, but it is the only step they will take. They will never do away with the liquor, the junk food. It makes them way too much money. It’s real easy to get rid of one product and call yourself a “Health Care Company”, it’s a whole other thing to actually be one.

CVS Caremark to Stop Selling Tobacco Products

CVS Caremark pharmacies will phase out tobacco in U.S. retail stores by Oct. 1, officials announced Wednesday, saying that selling cigarettes side-by-side with medicine undermines the mission of promoting good health.

The chain will lose about $2 billion in revenues annually from sales of tobacco in its 7,600 stores, but CVS Pharmacy president Helena Foulkes said it just makes sense for a firm now positioning itself as a health care company.

“It was very important to us that, as we’re working with doctors and hospital systems and health plans, that they see us as an extension of their services,” Foulkes said. “It’s virtually impossible to be in the tobacco business when you want to be a health care partner to the health care system.”

President Barack Obama immediately praised CVS. “As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today’s decision will help advance my Administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs – ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come,” he said in a statement.

The move is also an effort to help curb tobacco-related illness and the 480,000 deaths caused by smoking each year in the U.S. Despite huge reductions over the past 50 years, about 18 percent of Americans — 42 million people — still smoke, health officials say. Smoking costs the nation about $289 billion annually in direct medical costs and lost productivity, according to federal figures.

Health experts and groups like the American Pharmacists Association and the American Medical Association have urged stores that house pharmacies to stop selling tobacco for years. Many small, independent pharmacies and small private chains already ban tobacco, said John Norton, spokesman for the National Community Pharmacists Association.Target stores stopped selling tobacco products in 1996.

But CVS is the first large retail pharmacy chain to do so.

“This action may not lead many people to stop smoking; smokers will probably simply go elsewhere to buy cigarettes,” CVS medical officer Dr. Troyen Brennan wrote in an editorial published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “But if other retailers follow this lead, tobacco products will become much more difficult to obtain.”

Pharmacy retailer Walgreens released a statment on Wednesday in which it said it has been “evaluating” the place tobacco products hold on its shelves. Representatives for Rite-Aid Corp. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. wouldn’t comment on the pending announcement late Tuesday, calling it “speculation.”

“We will continue to evaluate the choice of products our customers want, while also helping to educate them and providing smoking cessation products and alternatives that help to reduce the demand for tobacco products,” Walgreens said in the statement.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.