CVS to stop selling cigarettes

CVS announced today that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores by October of this year. The pharmacy chain has 42 locations in the Capital Region core (by our count).

From the company's press release:

"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."

There's been a campaign the last few years to get pharmacies/drug stores in New York to stop selling tobacco products -- you might have seen the billboards. And the American Pharmacists Association has been pushing it for nationwide. There's even been a bill floating in the state legislature that it would make it illegal for pharmacies to sell tobacco products. (A handful of municipalities in California and Massachusetts already have bans -- San Francisco was the first.)

The most recent federal estimates, for 2012, have the percentage of New York adults who reported being current smokers pegged at 16.2 percent. It was 22.3 percent in 2002.

By the way: It's been a little more than a decade since New York's ban on indoor workspace smoking -- which prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants -- took effect.

Earlier on AOA: In 2010, the state Department of Health reported that the Capital Region's core counties had some of the lowest smoking rates in the state.

Comments

What’s in it for CVS? I no longer believe that companies take such big actions without a financial incentive. Perhaps high cigarette taxes make the margins razor thin so they’re not losing out on much profit.

True, it doesn’t make sense to sell unhealthy tobacco alongside healthcare products, but I don’t see CVS nixing Cheetos or Pepsi anytime soon.

Okay. Well on that happy note, will they also be discontinuing sales of cosmetics that were tested on animals? If they are stopping the sales of cancer sticks because they are bad for humans, why not stop the sale of cosmetic products that are cruelty-free(animals are routinely tortured for cosmetics)? It would be a landmark decision on their behalf, and would thus truly show compassion for ALL beings. Don't sentient beings deserve to be healthy and happy too?

CVS is trying to buddy up with hospitals and position themselves as a place to get a diagnosis and treatment, much like urgent care. I suspect that will make up for the $2 billion loss in tobacco revenue.

high cigarette taxes make the margins razor thin

Or maybe tobacco sales went underground.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Hudson Valley Hops 2015

The Hudson Valley Hops event returns to the Albany Institute April 18. The event will again include regional craft beer and cider tastings, and an... (more)

John, Robert, Michael...

Over at the Times Union, Cathleen Crowley put together some nice interactive visualizations of numbers for the most popular baby names in New York State... (more)

Drawing: Monarchs & Moonshine at miSci

The Museum of Science and Innovation -- miSci -- in Schenectady is hosting a Monarchs and Moonshine event this Thursday with a butterfly house, cocktails... (more)

Move Music Festival 2015

The MOVE Music Festival returns to Albany April 24-26. All-weekend passes for the multi-venue festival are currently on sale -- they're $20. Also, the lineup... (more)

Morning Blend

Hello. We're trying something new with Morning Blend because the old format was starting to feel really stale. This new take still includes links to... (more)

Recent Comments

The way the light hits the State Ed. building in the evening. It shines just through Alfred E. Smith, the LOB, and the Capitol and catches the corner columns in this orange glow. I don't know why, but I just find it stunning.

Drawing: Monarchs & Moonshine at miSci

...has 18 comments, most recently from julie

Morning Blend for Mar 30

...has 4 comments, most recently from JustJoe

Milk delivery options in the Capital Region

...has 41 comments, most recently from MB

Photos from AOA7

...has 5 comments, most recently from Laura M.

Byrne Dairy ice cream sandwiches

...has 11 comments, most recently from Daniel B.