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

39th Annual Photography Regional Select Show

We got a chance this week to stop in at the 39th Annual Photography Regional Select Show at the Albany Center Gallery. It displays works... (more)

The Capital Region is growing very slowly -- which is better than many other parts of the state

The population of the Albany metro area was up slightly in 2016 compared to the year before, according to new Census Bureau estimates out this... (more)

Updates: 3Fish Coffee, 288 Lark Street

Quick updates on a couple of Lark Street-area storefronts... 3Fish Coffee The new cafe next to the Downtube on Madison Ave across from Washington Park... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

OK, March is still doing its lion thing, but it's spring and it's the weekend -- two things to be happy about. After the jump,... (more)

Morning Blend

American Health Care Act + A spokesman for Elise Stefanik said Thursday evening she's still undecided about how to vote on the American Health Care... (more)

Recent Comments

I was very negative about the road diet when it was announced but I really love it and am excited to see it continue all the way to Lark. I eat my words!

Drawing: Tickets for John Mayer at TU Center + a gift card for Ama Cocina

...has 101 comments, most recently from Ryan R

Public meeting for second phase of Madison Ave Road Diet in Albany

...has 10 comments, most recently from Andrew

Today in America

...has 3 comments, most recently from Paul G

Morning Blend for Mar 23

...has 2 comments, most recently from Dave

Highway cap

...has 1 comment, most recently from Elisabeth