CVS to stop selling tobacco products

posted at 8:01 am on February 5, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

I didn’t include the word breaking in the headline, but a lot of news agencies did this morning when the pharmacy chain made its announcement.  CVS will turn its back on $2 billion in annual revenue and stop stocking tobacco products, saying that giving access to tobacco conflicts with their core mission of health improvement:

CVS Caremark pharmacies will phase out tobacco in U.S. retail stores by Oct. 1, officials announced Wednesday, saying that selling cigarettes side-by-side with medicine undermines the mission of promoting good health.

The chain will lose about $2 billion in revenues annually from sales of tobacco in its 7,600 stores, but CVS Pharmacy president Helena Foulkes said it just makes sense for a firm now positioning itself as a health care company.

“It was very important to us that, as we’re working with doctors and hospital systems and health plans, that they see us as an extension of their services,” Foulkes said. “It’s virtually impossible to be in the tobacco business when you want to be a health care partner to the health care system.”

The move is also an effort to help curb tobacco-related illness and the 480,000 deaths caused by smoking each year in the U.S. Despite huge reductions over the past 50 years, about 18 percent of Americans — 42 million people — still smoke, health officials say. Smoking costs the nation about $289 billion annually in direct medical costs and lost productivity, according to federal figures.

Health experts and groups like the American Pharmacists Association and the American Medical Association have urged stores that house pharmacies to stop selling tobacco for years. Many small, independent pharmacies and small private chains already ban tobacco, said John Norton, spokesman for the National Community Pharmacists Association.Target stores stopped selling tobacco products in 1996.

The Washington Post notes that the stores have recently added health clinics, which make the dichotomy a little more apparent:

CVS has increasingly moved beyond its traditional role as a pharmacy in recent years, expanding its reach as a health care provider. Its MinuteClinics services have allowed the company to increasingly enter into contracts with hospitals and health plans, often providing primary care services on the weekends and evenings when doctors’ offices tend to be closed.

CVS chief medical officer Troyen A. Brennan estimates that the company has between 30 and 40 partnerships with health care systems across the country, and is in talks a similar number about starting additional arrangements.

He said the decision to halt tobacco sales will make it easier to strike such deals, particularly those that include financial rewards for CVS if they can help patients stop smoking and reduce their medical bills.

That’s a big chunk of revenue to refuse, and shareholders may be less than pleased with the initial hit to the bottom line. In the long run, though, this is probably a smart move. Smoking cessation is a growth business, while tobacco use simply isn’t. The $2 billion in revenue wasn’t going to stay at that level for much longer; I’d be surprised if it wasn’t already dissipating over the last several years. If CVS plans to partner up on low-cost clinics, they would have caught up to that lost revenue in a few years based on the downward trend for cigarette use. Don’t be surprised to see other pharmacy chains follow suit.

Still, one can wander through a CVS and see lots of things that doctors don’t recommend for healthy lifestyles. They sell an impressive array of candy, junk food, and even large bottles of cola to which Michael Bloomberg would probably object. Will CVS pare that down, too? And how many pharmacy chains will follow that play?


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I have to cop to a goof here. McDs stock price hasn’t fallen *yet*, though the bad news did seem to impact it negligibly — so far. Unfortunately for McDs, stock price tends to be a lagging indicator of market share unless the government’s pump priming covers up just how baly individual businesses are doing, as seems to be the case with Walmart.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM

MCd is down about 10% from its 52 week high. I doubt it will go down much more until the investors see if McD’s can get back the market share. It has been losing that 1% since apr. a slow decline just like it market share. Ivestors IMO are waiting to see if It can regain its edge I don’t think it can to do so it’ll require then to cut prices or impove service as those customers smart enough have already stopped going to Mcd’s for their dinner and instead gone to better food stores for the same price.

unseen on February 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I really don’t understand the outrage over that. If he wants to congratulate a company on something they did of their own volition, I would take that any day of the week over his alternative.

JAGonzo on February 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

That is assuming that what you see is what you get. I would hope you’d know better by now than to assume the best of this administration.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM

(A) You are not the one hooked up to oxygen in the emergency room when someone puffs smoke in your face.

Jose, I’m quite a bit older than you. I have asthma and have had a couple of stage III asthma episodes, hooked up to oxygen in the hospital, from environmental allergies including cigarette smoke.

(B) I choose who to associate with. I thought that was the whole point of freedom.

Then please, associate with whomever you choose. I wasn’t aware that was an issue

(C) I am very much in favor of free markets. CVS made a decision not to sell cigarettes. How is that not the free market? Where did I say anything about banning cigarettes? People light up outside of Walgreens because it’s where they buy them. If they buy them somewhere else, they will light up there. That suits me just fine.

The free market for products disfavored by government is getting to be non existent. CVS is a major player in ObysmalCare. If you think theirs is a purely free-market decision you are delusional.

(D) I would go to CVS with my dollars, if there was one within any reasonable distance.

Then go to Walgreen’s.

(E) You have got to stop accusing people of being anti-freedom just because they don’t celebrate cigarette smoking.

I do not smoke, never have, never will. But I find it repugnant that people “celebrate” smoking bans. I don’t celebrate smoking. That doesn’t mean I would deprive someone else of their right to smoke. It is their freedom. I guess that makes you anti-freedom.

Final note: the free market is speaking, and people in my age demographic don’t think smoking is cool anymore. I’m 26. That is something I feel to be positive. It does not intrude on your freedom for CVS to drop cigarettes. It does make financial sense for them, and they have freedom to do so. Do you want to force companies to sell cigarettes? Do you want to start a reverse nanny state? No? Well if you want to be consistent as a conservative, you should admit that this is a move that is completely within the rights of CVS, and I have every right to be pleased by it.

Jose, I’ve been around almost three times as long as you. And it may shock you to learn that I am a doctor. Smoking is a bad decision people make. I’m glad your generation does not feel it is cool anymore.
I don’t want to force anyone to sell cigarettes. CVS has every right to discontinue selling cigarettes. But there are people who want to avail themselves of the legal freedom to smoke, whatever their motivation. That creates a market. Government should stay out of that market. Perhaps if CVS were not such a big player in ObysmalCare they would not feel compelled to make a bad business decision.

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 11:20 AM

NOMOBO on February 5, 2014 at 11:42 AM

You are right, I think people worry that since they got an “Attaboy” from The Won, he will take the idea an run with it. Pen and phone will travel.

Cindy Munford on February 5, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Cindy Munford: Me thinks Team WH had a hand in this??!!”:)

More: CVS, in ending tobacco sales, says move is

[intended to fit with mission

as healthcare company]

http://nbcnews.to/1lAcdZF @tomcostellonbc

canopfor on February 5, 2014 at 11:42 AM

unseen on February 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM

oh and the stock was down 10% during a bull market for most other stocks… MCd’s stock isn’t acting too healthy.

unseen on February 5, 2014 at 11:43 AM

unseen on February 5, 2014 at 11:34 AM

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Mighty Wings sucked.

Listen, we’ll see how McDonalds goes. Is it on its way down? I highly doubt it. But we’ll see. On that note, I’m on my way to Qdobas.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 11:43 AM

MCd is down about 10% from its 52 week high. I doubt it will go down much more until the investors see if McD’s can get back the market share. It has been losing that 1% since apr. a slow decline just like it market share. Ivestors IMO are waiting to see if It can regain its edge I don’t think it can to do so it’ll require then to cut prices or impove service as those customers smart enough have already stopped going to Mcd’s for their dinner and instead gone to better food stores for the same price.

unseen on February 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I haven’t been to McDonald’s in months. In the past year, I’ve probably been there twice. It’s not a conscious decision by any means. Just an economic one.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Listen, we’ll see how McDonalds goes. Is it on its way down? I highly doubt it. But we’ll see. On that note, I’m on my way to Qdobas.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 11:43 AM

As someone mentioned, the stock price is now 10% lower than their 52-week high, though their market share has been slowly but steadily declining over the past year. McDs didn’t do itself any favors by kowtowing to CSPI and PCRM.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 11:46 AM

I haven’t been to McDonald’s in months. In the past year, I’ve probably been there twice. It’s not a conscious decision by any means. Just an economic one.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I stop every once in a while to get a .99 cone for the kids. Other than that I avoid them. Once I stopped eating there for a couple months I went back for lunch one day and I got really sick. I guess once I weaned my body off the food additives in their food it no longer can stomach the food. Oh well not missing it at all.

Since I heard that Mcd’s has to add beef flavor to their hamburger because its been processed to the point where all flavor is removed I stopped going. Just an FYI. this is why all Mcd’s food taste the same no matter if you go in one in CA or in PA. They add the beef flavor back in. they control what your beef tastes like.

unseen on February 5, 2014 at 11:49 AM

JAGonzo on February 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

It isn’t outrage, it is mistrust. The Won doesn’t do anything without an agenda and so far his agendas have pretty much sucked swamp water.

Cindy Munford on February 5, 2014 at 11:55 AM

That doesn’t mean I would deprive someone else of their right to smoke. It is their freedom. I guess that makes you anti-freedom.
NOMOBO on February 5, 2014 at 11:42 AM

For the last time, I do not favor smoking bans. You’re as good as Bill Nye last night, referring to creationism as “Ken Ham’s theory” time and time again. A private company choosing not to sell a product is not a ban. It intrudes on no one’s freedom.

Stop trying to pin me in some corner. I favor people voluntarily choosing not to smoke, and people voluntarily choosing not to sell cigarettes. I suspect that if you suffer as you say from environmental toxins, you do what you can to avoid them. That doesn’t make you sanctimonious or anti-freedom, it makes you a human being who doesn’t enjoy feeling bad.

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The pharmacy where I get my BP meds is in a grocery store right next to the ice cream section. I have actually psyched myself out of buying Klondike bars for that very reason.

mike_NC9 on February 5, 2014 at 11:56 AM

NOMOBO on February 5, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Also, smokers have the “right” to smoke, I suppose. They do not have the “right” to demand that companies sell them their smokes. It’s a free market.

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Stop trying to pin me in some corner. I favor people voluntarily choosing not to smoke, and people voluntarily choosing not to sell cigarettes. I suspect that if you suffer as you say from environmental toxins, you do what you can to avoid them. That doesn’t make you sanctimonious or anti-freedom, it makes you a human being who doesn’t enjoy feeling bad.

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 11:55 AM

I favor people voluntarily choosing not to smoke, too. That’s not what this discussion is about. This discussion is about the relative soundness of CVS’ business practice in getting rid of tobacco altogether. There’s nothing “voluntary” in that as relates to the behavior of smokers.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Besides, people won’t stop smoking because they can’t get it at CVS. They’ll get cigs somewhere else. To pretend that this is about any individual’s personal comfort is just stupid.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:00 PM

There’s nothing “voluntary” in that as relates to the behavior of smokers.

So you want to force companies to sell cigarettes? Let me get this straight. You are justifiably angry that the government forces you and others to purchase health insurance, but you want them to force CVS to sell cigarettes?

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 12:02 PM

So you want to force companies to sell cigarettes? Let me get this straight. You are justifiably angry that the government forces you and others to purchase health insurance, but you want them to force CVS to sell cigarettes?

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I didn’t say that. But you’re welcome to pound the shit out of that straw man if you really want to. I said I don’t think that smokers should be denied a legal product.

Smokers will not be denied tobacco whether it is legal or not to smoke, and to pretend that CVS is rendering some great service to humanity by choosing not to sell cigarettes is not only wrong, but it belies a cancerous selfishness on the part of the people applauding the decision.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM

I bought some cold medicine there.

It would be easier to adopt a baby.

Moesart on February 5, 2014 at 12:09 PM

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Of course it was a straw man. As is your argument that I must have a “Progressive spaz fit” when I see a carton of cigarettes.

I never said CVS was rendering any great service to humanity. They look down the road and see how cigarettes will make issues for them later, so they made a capitalistic decision to cut them out now. Can you blame them for seeking some press? It irks you, but a lot of people will cheer them and it’s free.

It’s not a cancerous selfishness to applaud private industry doing what it does best – self promotion and self-preservation.

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 12:10 PM

What’s the big deal? CVS doesn’t want to sell cigarettes. Was this caused by some EO or state legislation?

If they don’t want to sell cigarettes, they don’t have to sell cigarettes. It is as simple as that. Regardless of the reasoning.

JAGonzo on February 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

You really think Obama was surfing the news early this morning and spontaneously had an attaboy written up?

I don’t. There is more to this than meets the eye. CVS obviously had discussions with the White House about this prior to it being reported.

Why?

ButterflyDragon on February 5, 2014 at 12:25 PM

It’s not a cancerous selfishness to applaud private industry doing what it does best – self promotion and self-preservation.

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Self-preservation done in the name of acquiescing to tyranny is itself immoral. But what do you care? It doesn’t affect you, right? Until it does.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM

You really think Obama was surfing the news early this morning and spontaneously had an attaboy written up?

I don’t. There is more to this than meets the eye. CVS obviously had discussions with the White House about this prior to it being reported.

Why?

ButterflyDragon on February 5, 2014 at 12:25 PM

This is crazy talk.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 12:31 PM

gryphon, I just noted that the link was not good. For you.

Schadenfreude on February 5, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Also, smokers have the “right” to smoke, I suppose. They do not have the “right” to demand that companies sell them their smokes. It’s a free market.

[JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 11:56 AM]

I think you mean free country, because it isn’t a free market when it comes to tobacco since the governments have their tentacles thoroughly wrapped around it.

Then again, it’s not a free country either, since the governments have their tentacles wrapped around most things you do and say.

Dusty on February 5, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Ever think that tobacco products just ain’t selling at CVS? I’ve never bought any from a pharmacy. Plus they sell liquor. I’m not buying any of this argument.

John the Libertarian on February 5, 2014 at 12:36 PM

This is crazy talk.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Oh yeah. There’s nothing nefarious in this at all, is there? Next thing you know some liberal somewhere will be telling us what we can and can’t eat and drink!

Oh? What’s that you say? That’s already happened in New York? That’s crazy talk!

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Ever think that tobacco products just ain’t selling at CVS? I’ve never bought any from a pharmacy. Plus they sell liquor. I’m not buying any of this argument.

John the Libertarian on February 5, 2014 at 12:36 PM

CVS is admitting they’ll take a 2 billion dollar yearly hit in revenue over this. It may not force them under, but the shareholders will notice.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:38 PM

CVS/Caremark is a very liberal company. It supports amnesty and the Center for American Progress. After being a customer for 22 years, I dropped CVS cold turkey last year.

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 12:42 PM

CVS/Caremark is a very liberal company. It supports amnesty and the Center for American Progress. After being a customer for 22 years, I dropped CVS cold turkey last year.

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 12:42 PM

It will be interesting to see what Wallgreen’s response to this is, if any.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Oh yeah. There’s nothing nefarious in this at all, is there? Next thing you know some liberal somewhere will be telling us what we can and can’t eat and drink!

Oh? What’s that you say? That’s already happened in New York? That’s crazy talk!

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:36 PM

You’re not making sense. You’re almost implying that every store should sell everything, or your freedom to buy anything from any store has been infringed. It’s a ridiculous argument.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 12:45 PM

You’re not making sense. You’re almost implying that every store should sell everything, or your freedom to buy anything from any store has been infringed. It’s a ridiculous argument.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 12:45 PM

So I should just refrain from having an opinion on how stupid this is?

If you’re going to do something that will cost your business 2 billion dollars in lost revenue, I would think you’d best not make that fact public in your media statement. But what do I know? I’ve never been on a corporate board of directors!

/DUR

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Not even 2 billion in lost revenue, but 2 billion in lost revenue *annually*. And the shareholders will be okay because, “Hey. This doesn’t affect me.” Except that it does.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:50 PM

and people voluntarily choosing not to sell cigarettes.

JoseQuinones on February 5, 2014 at 11:55 AM

If you want to go down that road, CVS DID NOT make a voluntary decision. Their positioning with the government in the health insurance (not care, but insurance) business is their governing factor. It’s just like saying that I voluntarily bought defribulators for my office even though it was prompted by OSHA regulations. The government takes “voluntary” out of the free market consistently, and this is just one more example.

You need to not only look at effect, but you need to pay attention to cause. The government is making it extremely difficult for retailers to continue selling cigarettes, which is a legal product the last time I checked.

NOMOBO on February 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM

So I should just refrain from having an opinion on how stupid this is?

If you’re going to do something that will cost your business 2 billion dollars in lost revenue, I would think you’d best not make that fact public in your media statement. But what do I know? I’ve never been on a corporate board of directors!

/DUR

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Are you serious or are you joking?

You don’t see how you would cut out a part of your business to strengthen another part? Also, you seem to be conflating revenue and profit. They could have $0 in profit on their $2 in tobacco-related revenue.

Walmart stocked selling M rated video games in their stores a while back. Why? Because cutting out that part of there business strengthened their credibility with a certain portion of the population, which they think will lead to increased sale of the other things they sell.

How do you imagine business are run? Why doesn’t CVS sell tires and airplanes too? They could certainly increase their revenue if they did.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Are you serious or are you joking?

You don’t see how you would cut out a part of your business to strengthen another part? Also, you seem to be conflating revenue and profit. They could have $0 in profit on their $2 in tobacco-related revenue.

Walmart stocked selling M rated video games in their stores a while back. Why? Because cutting out that part of there business strengthened their credibility with a certain portion of the population, which they think will lead to increased sale of the other things they sell.

How do you imagine business are run? Why doesn’t CVS sell tires and airplanes too? They could certainly increase their revenue if they did.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Keep pounding on that straw man, douchebag. If CVS is going to get rid of all the tobacco it sells because it’s unhealthy, then keep right on going and get rid of the junkfood. That would be the logical conclusion to this line of thinking — unless they have a reason for getting rid of tobacco besides its unhealthiness.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

If you want to go down that road, CVS DID NOT make a voluntary decision. Their positioning with the government in the health insurance (not care, but insurance) business is their governing factor. It’s just like saying that I voluntarily bought defribulators for my office even though it was prompted by OSHA regulations. The government takes “voluntary” out of the free market consistently, and this is just one more example.

You need to not only look at effect, but you need to pay attention to cause. The government is making it extremely difficult for retailers to continue selling cigarettes, which is a legal product the last time I checked.

NOMOBO on February 5, 2014 at 12:52 PM

This is how we are getting scammed, ladies and gentlemen I mentioned it a couple times upthread, and I’ll say it again now: I am not a smoker. But someday, mark my words, it will be your oxen being gored, CVS apologists. And when it is, guys like me may not come to your defense if it doesn’t “affect” us.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I don’t smoke but if there’s a CVS on one corner and a Walgreen’s on the other (as there is in my town), I know where I’m going now – and it ain’t CVS.

RedNewEnglander on February 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Keep pounding on that straw man, douchebag. If CVS is going to get rid of all the tobacco it sells because it’s unhealthy, then keep right on going and get rid of the junkfood. That would be the logical conclusion to this line of thinking — unless they have a reason for getting rid of tobacco besides its unhealthiness.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Maybe it’s a false-flag decision. Maybe they’re Walgreens in disguise. Maybe…IT’S A COOKBOOK!

I hear they’re still selling tin-foil. You might want to stock up because your supply has to low.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Maybe it’s a false-flag decision. Maybe they’re Walgreens in disguise. Maybe…IT’S A COOKBOOK!

I hear they’re still selling tin-foil. You might want to stock up because your supply has to low.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

GFY, douchebag.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 1:06 PM

And when it is, guys like me may not come to your defense if it doesn’t “affect” us.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:58 PM

If this is you defending, I’ll pass.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Hah. I love this headline. :)

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 1:07 PM

GFY, douchebag.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I hear they sell those too.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Keep pounding on that straw man, douchebag. If CVS is going to get rid of all the tobacco it sells because it’s unhealthy, then keep right on going and get rid of the junkfood. That would be the logical conclusion to this line of thinking — unless they have a reason for getting rid of tobacco besides its unhealthiness.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

What about beer and liquor?

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 1:11 PM

I don’t smoke but if there’s a CVS on one corner and a Walgreen’s on the other (as there is in my town), I know where I’m going now – and it ain’t CVS.

RedNewEnglander on February 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Why?

verbaluce on February 5, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Maybe CVS should get Michael “The Midget” Bloomberg as its spokesperson.

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 1:12 PM

What about beer and liquor?

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 1:11 PM

We tried banning those. ;)

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Why?

verbaluce on February 5, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Because some of us are willing to fight for the right of others to bwe stupid.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I don’t smoke but if there’s a CVS on one corner and a Walgreen’s on the other (as there is in my town), I know where I’m going now – and it ain’t CVS.

RedNewEnglander on February 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Think that one through. Illinidiva works for Walgreens. You wouldn’t her waiting on you and telling you about her fantasies involving Paul Ryan. It appears Rite Aid is the best choice.

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Illinidiva works for Walgreens. You wouldn’t her waiting on you and telling you about her fantasies involving Paul Ryan. It appears Rite Aid is the best choice.

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 1:16 PM

I’m glad I come from a small town where local privately owned dispensaries are still an option.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 1:17 PM

It will be interesting to see what Wallgreen’s response to this is, if any.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Walgreens was the 2006 Gay Games sponsor so I doubt they are that conservative:

http://www.retailwire.com/discussion/10985/walgreens-takes-heat-for-gay-games-sponsorship

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Walgreens was the 2006 Gay Games sponsor so I doubt they are that conservative:

http://www.retailwire.com/discussion/10985/walgreens-takes-heat-for-gay-games-sponsorship

bw222 on February 5, 2014 at 1:20 PM

You don’t have to be philosophically conservative to figure out where you can outmaneuver a competitor. CVS clearly wants to be a one-stop health care provider. If that’s all they have left, they will lose customers.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 1:22 PM

As long as I can be free of their choice, I’m fine with it.

segasagez on February 5, 2014 at 10:27 AM

I wish there was a ban that allowed the rest of us to be free of sanctimonious totalitarians like you.

zoyclem on February 5, 2014 at 1:32 PM

CVS an do what they like… and so can I. I don’t shop with anti-smoking nazis because I view them as anti-freedom. And I think it’s pretty clear that CVS’s Caremark division is getting its finger into alot of pies, which since the government takeover of healthcare will surely end up with a decidedly corporatist whiff. To me, that’s more troubling than their busybody tobacco ban.

It’s not like I was doing alot of shopping with them anyway. CVS is where you go when you’re in the mood to get ripped off for an extra buck or two on every item you buy. lol

Anyway, I quit smoking a week ago, and the thing that makes me happiest is screwing Barack Obama and the Democrat party out of the tax revenue. It would serve them right if the entire country quit smoking tobacco en masse and left them holding an empty revenue bag. They’ve lied their asses off about sin taxes for all these years. There’s no additional costs to be offset because of smokers. A Vanderbilt study several years ago, for example, proves that smokers actually save the government 32 cents per pack by dying an average of 10 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts. Not that politicians bother to make sure that money is spent on smokers.

So yeah, I’m not shopping with CVS. I don’t like busybodies and I don’t like high prices. But… at the end of the day, if they deprive the government of some ill-gained revenue, I’m not wringing my hands much over it.

Murf76 on February 5, 2014 at 2:03 PM

The lefty nut jobs keep coming!

If CVS is a public company, prepare for stock to tank.

Walgreens is chortling with glee!

Amjean on February 5, 2014 at 2:04 PM

So yeah, I’m not shopping with CVS. I don’t like busybodies and I don’t like high prices. But… at the end of the day, if they deprive the government of some ill-gained revenue, I’m not wringing my hands much over it.

Murf76 on February 5, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Assuming that CVS has their fingers in the Obamacare pie, you can bet that FedGov will get that revenue one way or another.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Good for CVS.
I have a choice for drugstores
I choose CVS.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Good for CVS.
I have a choice for drugstores
I choose CVS.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 2:59 PM

You want to pay more?
Go ahead and suit yourself.
Dumb people are dumb.

/MyCVSHaiku

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Are they going to ban candy and junk food as well? This is a total farce.

Look for the CEO of CVS to be fired within one year.

I wonder what his golden parachute looks like?

Freddy on February 5, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Are they going to ban candy and junk food as well? This is a total farce.

Look for the CEO of CVS to be fired within one year.

I wonder what his golden parachute looks like?

Freddy on February 5, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I don’t think that’s going to happen, Freddy. I think the CVS shareholders are on board with this. I don’t like it, but I think they are.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 3:27 PM

You want to pay more?

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Sometimes you pay to support your positions. I donate money to candidates, hit the tip jar of my favorite bloggers, and spend money out-of-pocket to go to tea party rallies. I look at any icremental price increase at CVS as being money well spent.

The fact that tobacco production is still a viable industry in this country is a disgrace. It exist today only because it is yet another protected crony-capitalist industry, living under the protection of the government.

I can’t do anything about that. But I can choose where to buy my Bandaids. So I will support CVS is this baby step forward.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 3:39 PM

They are just making room for medical marijuana displays.

meci on February 5, 2014 at 8:19 AM

What I was thinking…

I don’t see how alcohol can’t be too far behind?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 5, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Sometimes you pay to support your positions. I donate money to candidates, hit the tip jar of my favorite bloggers, and spend money out-of-pocket to go to tea party rallies. I look at any icremental price increase at CVS as being money well spent.

The fact that tobacco production is still a viable industry in this country is a disgrace. It exist today only because it is yet another protected crony-capitalist industry, living under the protection of the government.

I can’t do anything about that. But I can choose where to buy my Bandaids. So I will support CVS is this baby step forward.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 3:39 PM

I would hope that you at least maintain some intellectual consistency in your position, so let me ask you three questions:

A) Would you be for or against the banning of tobacco as a legal substance, federally,

and

B) Do you think that banning tobacco as a legal substance would prevent nicotine addicts or would-be nicotine addicts from finding a way to get their fix?

C) Are you for or against banning “vaping?”

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 4:36 PM

CVS is going to stop selling smokes? Ok… don’t care.
Sell or don’t sell what you want in your store.

“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.” – President Obama

Exactly, because nobody could go across the street to a gas station to buy their smokes, that’s UNPOSSIBLE!

Oh, but in other news a local grocery store closed; so thousands of my neighbors are going to starve to death. That’s sad.

Either that or President Obama is an idiot and people will buy smokes, food etc somewhere else and not go without the purchase they planned on making.

Anyone want to defend the President’s “logic” here?

gekkobear on February 5, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Anyone want to defend the President’s “logic” here?

gekkobear on February 5, 2014 at 4:47 PM

It’s the apathy that frightens me the most.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 4:58 PM

I would hope that you at least maintain some intellectual consistency in your position, so let me ask you three questions:

A) Would you be for or against the banning of tobacco as a legal substance, federally,

and

B) Do you think that banning tobacco as a legal substance would prevent nicotine addicts or would-be nicotine addicts from finding a way to get their fix?

C) Are you for or against banning “vaping?”

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 4:36 PM

A) I would not be in favor of banning tobacco. I think the government should step aside and let matters take their own course. Without the protection of the government, the plaintiffs bar will have the carcass cleaned down to bare bones within a year.

B) It will become very difficult nicotine addicts to find tobacco once producers are held accoutable for the damage they do.

C) As long as vaping is does not lead inevitably to disease and death, it should not run afoul of the liability issues which should doom the conventional tobacco producers.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 5:41 PM

A) I would not be in favor of banning tobacco. I think the government should step aside and let matters take their own course. Without the protection of the government, the plaintiffs bar will have the carcass cleaned down to bare bones within a year.

I think it makes more sense to ban tobacco at the state level than it makes to incrementally make it unfashionable with the full force of FedGov behind the effort. In any event, to applaud CVS for doing this “voluntarily” (and with Obama’s support, make no mistake) simply because it doesn’t affect you, and makes you feel better, is the worst kind of hypocrisy.

B) It will become very difficult nicotine addicts to find tobacco once producers are held accoutable for the damage they do.

True. Tobacco use will go down. But it will be driven underground. You’ll never get rid of it. We tried it with alcohol, and we’ve been trying it for well-near a century with a scad of other drugs. So if banning it as a legal substance won’t get rid of the stuff, then the masturbatory exercise of cheering on pharmacies for refusing to sell it certainly won’t.

C) As long as vaping is does not lead inevitably to disease and death, it should not run afoul of the liability issues which should doom the conventional tobacco producers.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 5:41 PM

I got news for ya, my Japanese poetry-loving friend: There are places that are banning it on the basis that it is supposedly as harmful as cigarette smoking, all evidence to the contrary. Chicago has banned vaping in public, and I believe New York either has banned it already or a ban is imminent.

But you fools keep right on thinking that CVS has your best interests in mind. Did I mention I don’t smoke?

/ptooey

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 5:52 PM

If she smokes, she pokes!

lorien1973 on February 5, 2014 at 5:55 PM

CVS an do what they like… and so can I. I don’t shop with anti-smoking nazis because I view them as anti-freedom. And I think it’s pretty clear that CVS’s Caremark division is getting its finger into alot of pies, which since the government takeover of healthcare will surely end up with a decidedly corporatist whiff. To me, that’s more troubling than their busybody tobacco ban.

Murf76 on February 5, 2014 at 2:03 PM

You may be correct about Caremark

Poviders look to cut costs. In mandatory health care, they own you

Mess up their bottom line, get lost

Expect the feds to start doling out punishments. First it will be a health issue. Later it will be a defiance issue

The CVS around my home are low on customers except the occasional person coming in to buy a pack of cigarettes. I used to wonder how they made any money, aisles of cheap Chinese junk. Figured the slow traffic for prescriptions must be a gold mine

Friend suggested maybe CVS has bad numbers, and will use sales drop from cutting off tobacco sales as a cover for bad financials

I do not like smoke, but I love liberty. CVS is off my list

entagor on February 5, 2014 at 5:59 PM

I do not like smoke, but I love liberty. CVS is off my list

entagor on February 5, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Usually rebranding happens when a corporation has its collective ass in a sling. Sometimes the business they make up with the new image makes up for the old loyal customers they lose. Sometimes it doesn’t (e.g. New Coke). CVS has sold cigarettes for its entire existence as a neighborhood pharmacy — until now. There is more to this decision than meets the eye.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 6:03 PM

I do not like smoke, but I love liberty. CVS is off my list

entagor on February 5, 2014 at 5:59 PM

they don’t sell sex toys either. I’m outraged!

lorien1973 on February 5, 2014 at 6:20 PM

CVS sucks.

Every single store I’ve been to: slow service, lazy employees, and many barely speak English.

I’ve always had a much better experience at Walgreens.

(Of course, they might do this too, to be sure.)

Hawkins1701 on February 5, 2014 at 7:13 PM

support CVS is this baby step forward.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 3:39 PM

I would hope that you at least maintain some intellectual consistency in your position, so let me ask you three questions:

A) Would you be for or against the banning of tobacco as a legal substance, federally,

and

B) Do you think that banning tobacco as a legal substance would prevent nicotine addicts or would-be nicotine addicts from finding a way to get their fix?

C) Are you for or against banning “vaping?”

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 4:36 PM

You forgot D)Do you think marijuana (pot) is harmful to a person’s
mental or physical health?

I put that in because all the raving anti cigarette people I know
are hell bent on smoking pot. When I ask them what I think is a logical question, they respond with “cigarettes have tar that is harmful and pot does not”.

Amjean on February 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM

CVS sucks.

Every single store I’ve been to: slow service, lazy employees, and many barely speak English.

I’ve always had a much better experience at Walgreens.

(Of course, they might do this too, to be sure.)

Hawkins1701 on February 5, 2014 at 7:13 PM

But it’s so far to drive to Walgreens…

Capitalist Tool on February 5, 2014 at 8:19 PM

You forgot D)Do you think marijuana (pot) is harmful to a person’s
mental or physical health?

Amjean on February 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM

E) Selling/dispensing mind altering prescription drugs that heavily alter mental state and ability. IMO, they are way worse than nicotine when school age kids are on them. Try getting off those, they are as addicitive as nicotine and in some ways way worse.

F) Next morning abortion pill. They are 100% kill rate as opposed to nicotine nowhere near the rate.

Wasn’t nicotine considered a “medical treatment” a while back?

Not shopping at CVS any longer. They made their (seriously flawed) choice. I am now making mine.

riddick on February 5, 2014 at 8:20 PM

They’ll have more room to stock Twinkies and Mallomars.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/6438.php (10 years ago)

Oxymoron on February 5, 2014 at 8:34 PM

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 5:52 PM

I don’t support a ban. I don’t support government protection. I support government having no position on tobacco, whatsoever.

Let the tobacco companies sell their products and work out the consequences of the death and disease they cause through the courts, like any other company. Once they are held accountable for the damage they do, they will be out of business.

Why should they have extraordinary protection? Just because they pay protection money to the government?

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 8:56 PM

I don’t support a ban. I don’t support government protection. I support government having no position on tobacco, whatsoever.

Let the tobacco companies sell their products and work out the consequences of the death and disease they cause through the courts, like any other company. Once they are held accountable for the damage they do, they will be out of business.

Why should they have extraordinary protection? Just because they pay protection money to the government?

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 8:56 PM

I’m not asking for extraordinary protection, Haiku. I’m asking for equal protection under the law. But who the bloody blue fig am I kidding? Equal protection under the law has been an illusion since 1913. No one in my grandparents’ generation has any idea what that really means, so I really shouldn’t expect you to, should I?

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Still, one can wander through a CVS and see lots of things that doctors don’t recommend for healthy lifestyles. They sell an impressive array of candy, junk food, and even large bottles of cola to which Michael Bloomberg would probably object. Will CVS pare that down, too? And how many pharmacy chains will follow that play?

It’s coming.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 5, 2014 at 10:05 PM

the states and fed are going have fun making up the loss of tax revenue from that.

RonK on February 5, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Equal protection under law sounds good to me. Treat tobacco like automobiles, Thalidomide or Asbestos. Every other product manufacturer bears liability for their products. Why not tobacco?

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Equal protection under law sounds good to me. Treat tobacco like automobiles, Thalidomide or Asbestos. Every other product manufacturer bears liability for their products. Why not tobacco?

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Because use of a product you know is harmful holds the producer harmless. Otherwise, everyone who ever got into an automobile accident would be suing manufacturers over it. You are aware that the anti-gun nuts have already tried that with firearms, right?

I wish you CVS apologists would just be honest with me. Come right out and say it: Smoking isn’t fashionable. Period. End-of-story. You’re okay with jumping on the anti-smoking bandwagon. And you’ll be okay with every violation of someone’s rights that doesn’t occur under the color of law, until it’s your asses on the line.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Because use of a product you know is harmful holds the producer harmless. Otherwise, everyone who ever got into an automobile accident would be suing manufacturers over it. You are aware that the anti-gun nuts have already tried that with firearms, right?

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 10:35 PM

The difference between tobacco and guns or automobiles is that tobacco kills when it is used as directed. With guns or automobiles, when somebody is injured, the user or somebody else is doing something that is the proximate cause of the injury.

If somebody built a car that routinely crashed itself, killing people, or somebody made a gun that frequently blew up in people’s hands, that person would bear liability. There are product liability lawsuits every day about just this sort of thing. Why should tobacco be the exception?

The answer is that tobacco gets special protection from the government, because the government is getting paid off with the taxes.

As far as CVS is concerned, they have the right to stock whatever products they like, and will be rewarded or punished in the marketplace based on those decisions. I will reward them with my business, but you are free to withhold yours.

I will reward them not because smoking is unfashionable. I don’t even find smoking to be unpleasant. I will reward them because I don’t like crony capitalists getting special favors and protection from the government.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 10:57 PM

The difference between tobacco and guns or automobiles is that tobacco kills when it is used as directed. With guns or automobiles, when somebody is injured, the user or somebody else is doing something that is the proximate cause of the injury.

Guns kill when they’re used as directed too, genius. They are instruments of weaponry. And cars kill when they’re used as-directed too. You place yourself at risk.

If somebody built a car that routinely crashed itself, killing people, or somebody made a gun that frequently blew up in people’s hands, that person would bear liability. There are product liability lawsuits every day about just this sort of thing. Why should tobacco be the exception?

Not all product liability lawsuits are successful. Do you really believe that CVS’ decision to stop selling tobacco was a unilateral business decision? God almighty, I got a bridge to sell you if you believe that!

The answer is that tobacco gets special protection from the government, because the government is getting paid off with the taxes.

Then shouldn’t tobacco be illegal? Wouldn’t that make more sense than some pointless masturbatory gesture of self-congratulation?

As far as CVS is concerned, they have the right to stock whatever products they like, and will be rewarded or punished in the marketplace based on those decisions. I will reward them with my business, but you are free to withhold yours.

You are a moron. Words fail me beyond that.

I will reward them not because smoking is unfashionable. I don’t even find smoking to be unpleasant. I will reward them because I don’t like crony capitalists getting special favors and protection from the government.

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Moron. Idiot. Dumba$$. Wow. Now businesses that sell tobacco are beneficiaries of crony capitalism. I’m gobsmacked. You must be the product of a public school education, aren’t you? It’s the only explanation for this level of utter stupidity.

gryphon202 on February 5, 2014 at 11:07 PM

I am not going to insult you, but I would like you to answer the question of why tobacco should get special protection from product liability.

You were just going on and on about equal protection under law. Why should tobacco enjoy special treatment?

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 11:24 PM

I wonder what sweetheart crony deals were forged with the corrupt and morally bankrupt Obama regime by cvs .

Murphy9 on February 6, 2014 at 1:15 AM

I suspect CVS is looking to cash in on the new semi-skilled medical services market. This is one of the many unfortunate consequences of Obamacare. Instead of seeing a doctor when we are sick, now our crony-capitalist insurance companies are going to send us to somebody we would not trust to competently pour us a cup of coffee for treatment.

While I applaud CVS for this decision, I suffer from no illusion that they are angels.

Haiku Guy on February 6, 2014 at 6:39 AM

I suspect CVS is looking to cash in on the new semi-skilled medical services market. This is one of the many unfortunate consequences of Obamacare. Instead of seeing a doctor when we are sick, now our crony-capitalist insurance companies are going to send us to somebody we would not trust to competently pour us a cup of coffee for treatment.

While I applaud CVS for this decision, I suffer from no illusion that they are angels.

Haiku Guy on February 6, 2014 at 6:39 AM

They are doing this because of government influence. Make no mistake. It’s not that they’re casting cronyism off. It’s that they’re participating in it.

But Gryph! Quitting smoking is good for you! How can this be a bad thing?

Never starting smoking is even better than quitting. You’ll get no argument from me on that. But how can think that an attaboy from a president who is almost universally despised within the ranks of this blog’s commenters is just a coincidence? I don’t get it.

And I still say, if you’re getting an attaboy from Obama, you’re doing it wrong.

gryphon202 on February 6, 2014 at 8:53 AM

ya’ll understand that behind the scenes CVS made this decision with a teeny weeny bit of a nudge from the communists in charge. or you can believe that they are just altruistic. but the free market works both ways, and i announce here today/now, that i will spend no more forever with CVS.

tm11999 on February 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM

The question is: Was it the decision of the CEO and shareholders or did the government bully them into this “decision”?

We don’t know the answer to that question.

nazo311 on February 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM

I am not going to insult you, but I would like you to answer the question of why tobacco should get special protection from product liability.

You were just going on and on about equal protection under law. Why should tobacco enjoy special treatment?

Haiku Guy on February 5, 2014 at 11:24 PM

This is pretty rich. After the multimillion dollar judgements tobacco companies have been forced to pay out all these years they are getting some kind of special treatment against lawsuits?? How do you square that circle?

Dollayo on February 6, 2014 at 10:11 AM

From its “Breaking news” on NBC, that conveniently included laudatory comments by Obama, I have been waiting for the REAL story behind this to be revealed. What other truly independent corporation would walk away from $2Billion annual revenue, make dramatic stocking changes that NOBODY except anti-smoking nuts care about, seek approval and comment from a President with a very large, very sorry health insurance plan that this corporation relies upon and then release the whole Breaking News on pathetically biased NBC?

Well, one does come to mind and that is Bank of America and their misguided demagogic move to refuse arms-related revenue in their operation. Once again, who but politically active zealots would care one wit about their business practices (especially those with major American manufacturers and retailers) other than Looney Lefties?

I’m still waiting for the REAL story behind this demagoguery and hope to find an answer here, soon.

OCULUS on February 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

This is pretty rich. After the multimillion dollar judgements tobacco companies have been forced to pay out all these years they are getting some kind of special treatment against lawsuits?? How do you square that circle?

Dollayo on February 6, 2014 at 10:11 AM

The lawsuits you see now are just the old lawsuits finally getting resolved, and they are being settle at prices the tobacco companies can afford.

Now the tobacco companies are operating under the protection of the government. As long as the excise tax money keeps flowing, they will be untouchable.

Haiku Guy on February 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

The Wall Street Journal mentions two billion dollars in lost sales. That indicates to me that the CEO, who apparently made this decision, will be tossed out on his ass soon. I doubt the stockholders will accept his ‘do gooder’ decision. If I owned stock in the company I would have sold it immediately.

zoyclem on February 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

CVS is so brave for coming out of the closet (or humidor, as the case may be).

Salviati on February 7, 2014 at 9:37 AM

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