Saturday, February 8, 2014

No More Tobacco at CVS

CVS pharmacy recently announced that it intends to stop selling cigarettes starting October 1, 20141.  This announcement comes out just over fifty years after the US Surgeon General released its report that linked smoking with disease2.

A pharmacy is a place where people who are sick obtain products that are supposed to make them well.  So it's ironic that pharmacies also sell products that are known to make you unwell.

Tobacco is just one example of such a product.  But consider sugar.  Although the Surgeon General hasn't mandated the labeling of sugar-laden products with health warnings, it does state that "...eating healthy means ... limiting intake of ... added sugars."3

Sugar can be found in some form in every drug store.  It's in the candy isle, of course.  And in the soda aisle.  Some larger stores might harbor it in the freezer case in the form of ice cream and other frozen desserts.  Then of course the seasonal isle erupts with candy right after Labor Day with Halloween candy, which transforms into Christmas candy on November 1, then into Valentine's candy in January, and ultimately appears in a majestic fanfare as Easter candy at various times in Spring.  Come Memorial Day, sugar goes on a much needed vacation, at least until it becomes fashionable to eat candy for Independence Day.

Eventually CVS will find it necessary to eliminate candy from its stores once it realizes that selling candy " inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health."1  It might take CVS another fifty years to reach that conclusion, although without the profits from tobacco sales to keep it afloat, CVS might not be around that long.


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