Although national news has reported on CVS's decision to discontinue selling cigarettes, the national news should also be highlighting CVS and Walgreens in their efforts to save a life and reduce overdose deaths.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S. Every year, almost half a million people die from tobacco-caused disease. Reducing access to tobacco is an important first step.
I urge every smoker to talk with his/her doctor about various methods to stop smoking. Please consider adding your voice to those who hold individuals and corporations accountable for their choices. With the right mirror, we just might make the smoke disappear.
Many relish holding up examples of corporate greed and fraud to suggest that capitalism is broken and business must be increasingly constrained in what they are allowed to do. CVS's voluntary decision to stop selling an unhealthy product tells a different story.
CVS/pharmacy announced on February 5, 2014, that it would pull tobacco products from its stores by October. The benefit of improved heart health, reduced chronic burden of disease, and household economies saving money on the direct cost of cigarettes? Priceless.
This past week drugstore chain CVS announced that it will no longer sell tobacco products at its stores. But why stop there? Ever been to a CVS? There are plenty of other products that they sell that should also be taken off the shelves.
With CVS Caremark's announcement yesterday that they will no longer sell tobacco products, including cigarettes, at all CVS/pharmacy locations, the company took a bold step. This, I'm proud to say, is a great moment in the fight against tobacco.
Rather than hiding, CVS publicly stood up and declared its decision for the world to see. The company should be respected for being transparent. Whether or not they will be rewarded for the decision remains to be seen.