Come October and all tobacco products will disappear from the shelves of more than 7,600 stores of the CVS Caremark Corp. This will make it the first US drugstore which will remove cigarettes from its stores. An announcement to this effect was made by CVS Caremark Corp on Wednesday.
The decision has been hailed by the health experts as revolutionary and is sure to add pressure on other stores to do the same.
The Caremark unit of CVS happens to be a major pharmacy benefits manager for corporations and the government Medicare program and this decision is sure to increase its clout as a major health care provider.
Dome US cities like Boston and San Francisco has already placed a ban on tobacco products being sold in pharmacies and the latest decision by CVS will also have an effect on other pharmacy stores to follow suit.
Many Retail outlets have already stopped dispensing cigarettes many years before. This includes Target Corp which has stopped selling tobacco in 1996. Another East Coast supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets stopped selling tobacco products in 2008
The move has also been hailed by President Obama who said that CVS has set a scintillating precedent to all its contemporaries.
The president said ‘Today’s decision will help advance my Administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs – ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come,”
The CVS will be losing $2 billion in sales and this will amount to a loss of 6 and 9 cents of profit per share this year. The company is expected to have revenue of $132.9 billion and a profit of $4.47 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Health concerns have already led to 31.3% fall in cigarette sales between 2003 and 2013. Even a steep fall in the sales in sales from 43 percent of Americans in 1965 to the current 18 percent, smoking still contributes a major chunk of preventable deaths in the US and is accounted for deaths of 480,000 persons each year.