CVS Caremark will no longer sell cigarettes and other tobacco products. The company aims to cease tobacco sales by 1 October. This healthy step would make CVS the first national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers.
“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Caremark. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”
Smoking is the leading cause of premature disease and death with more than 480,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. While the prevalence of cigarette smoking has decreased from approximately 42 percent of adults in 1965 to 18 percent today, the rate of reduction in smoking prevalence has stalled in the past decade.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a statement this morning applauding CVS Caremark Corp. for taking this initiative.
“We need an all-hands-on-deck effort to take tobacco products out of the hands of America’s young generation, and to help those who are addicted to quit. Today’s CVS Caremark announcement helps bring our country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation. I hope others will follow their lead in this important new step to curtail tobacco use,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“CVS Caremark is continually looking for ways to promote health and reduce the burden of disease,” said CVS Caremark Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H. “Stopping the sale of cigarettes and tobacco will make a significant difference in reducing the chronic illnesses associated with tobacco use.”
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Pharmacists Association also applaud CVS today.
"Pharmacists are health care providers and we must commit to limiting access to products that are known to cause disease and poor health. We are thrilled that CVS Caremark is making a courageous move by giving up tobacco sales in favor of moving the organization toward a focus on health and wellness. This action adds CVS Caremark to a long list of pharmacies that have already stopped the sale of these dangerous products," stated Thomas E. Menighan, American Pharmacists Association Executive Vice President and CEO, in a news release today.
CVS Caremark’s decision to stop selling tobacco products is consistent with the positions taken by the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and American Pharmacists Association that have all publicly opposed tobacco sales in retail outlets with pharmacies.
The Financial Outcomes
The company estimates that it will lose approximately $2 billion in revenues on an annual basis from the tobacco shopper, equating to approximately 17 cents per share. Given the anticipated timing for implementation of this change, the impact to 2014 earnings per share is expected to be in the range of 6 to 9 cents per share. The company has identified incremental opportunities that are expected to offset the profitability impact. This decision more closely aligns the company with its patients, clients and health care providers to improve health outcomes while controlling costs and positions the company for continued growth.
CVS in Lancaster
• 32 West Lemon Street. 717-394-4013
• 1278 Millersville Pike. 717-397-2481
• 551 Harrisburg Avenue. 717-391-9503
This article is not intended to replace the medical advice of your physician.
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