CVS/pharmacy announced today that it will remove cigarettes and all tobacco products from its shelves in all 76,000 stores nationwide starting October 1, 2014. Executives believe the distribution of tobacco products is inconsistent with their mission to promote health. CVS will be the first national pharmacy chain to ban cigarette sales.
“When we asked ourselves where we expect to be in the future as a healthcare company, it became clear that removing tobacco products from our stores was the right thing to do,” CVS President and CEO Larry Merlo said in the recorded statement below.
The response on social media has been astounding, making #CVSquits a trending topic today. Many individuals online celebrate the policy change, while others argue it will not impact the rate of smoking, boosting sales at other outlets.
According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 43.8 million people, or 19 percent of all adults, smoke cigarettes. Smoking remains the leading cause of COPD. The COPD Foundation congratulates CVS for its commitment to health care and putting people before profits.