|CVS pharmacy will stop selling tobacco products.|
Personal rants aside, I want to give a huge shout-out to CVS. They are the first big company to phase out all tobacco sales in their stores. Their position is that they want to be a bigger healthcare provider, and can't grow a reputation based on health that includes selling products that are anti-health.
It's a start. If you remove everything from a pharmacy that is unhealthy, the shelves would be pretty much bare, but it's a great start.
Tobacco is the single biggest blight on our healthcare system. It costs non-smokers billions of dollars a year. It's a leading contributor to the top three causes of death in America today.
Ultimately, it will cost CVS millions in revenue. It will also take a while to phase out, because, dropping millions in revenue means eliminating jobs which they are trying to prevent.
Why this is bigger than CVS...
We've seen companies take a stance before for social reasons. Wal-Mart and Chick-fil-A have made changes to support a social agenda, but both have also been accused of hypocrisy. (Wal-Mart banned a Sheryl Crow album that includes a line about buying ammunition at Wal-Mart, but still sells ammunition.)
Other companies, such as McDonald's, claim to be improving health but their products are inherently unhealthy; yes, even the salads.
This is the first real commitment a large company has made to putting their money where their mouth is. There's no question, that while many of their products aren't healthy products, they have eliminated the worst offender and will potentially suffer the financial consequence of that decision.
If we, as consumers, respond by shopping at CVS, it's going to send a powerful message. Imagine if all stores banned tobacco products from their shelves. I don't have a problem with smokers being allowed to buy tobacco, but it would be nice if they were forced to buy it at stores that my kids don't visit. Sell tobacco in tobacco shops, bars, or in your Colorado pot store.