Need some cigarettes? You won’t be stopping by your local CVS to pick up a pack come October. CVS announced that it will cease selling cigarettes later this year.
“We’ve got 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners who are helping millions of patients each and every day,” said Larry Merlo, the chief executive of CVS Caremark. “They manage conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes — all conditions that are worsened by smoking. We’ve come to the decision that cigarettes have no place in an environment where healthcare is being delivered.”
Score one for awesome spin! CVS is making this move as a way to force Americans to make better decisions and get healthier. It’s amazing that a for-profit company would take a hit to CVS’s bottom line in an effort to curb America’s smoking habit. What a selfless move by the drugstore chain to get Americans to be healthier. How awesome that they figured out the hypocrisy in selling cigarettes while filling prescriptions for things like high blood pressure and asthma.
I’m a frequent CVS shopper and I’m compiling a list of things I need on my next trip:
2 bottles of white wine – sorry liver
3 bags of valentine’s candy – sorry blood sugar
1 carton of ice cream – sorry cholesterol
and finally 1 box of diet pills – sorry heart
The good news is my lungs are thrilled that I can’t buy cigarettes.
What’s my point? There has to be more to this story than CVS just doing this for the good of our lungs. Maybe I’m just old and jaded, but rarely does a company just do things to better America. Take the hotel industry, their “go green” initiative about not washing sheets and towels every day “saves the environment”, but you can’t deny the fact that they save millions in water and cleaning costs per year.
From an article from Forbes:
“CVS, like rivals Walgreen WAG +2.31% and Rite-Aid Corporation, is seeing a dramatic change to its business as it focuses less on taking marginal revenue out of drug sales and more on larger agreements with hospitals and insurance companies.”
Oh, so CVS is trying to strike bigger deals with insurance companies. By not offering cigarettes, they probably will be able to get a bigger share of the health care market.”
“These new efforts have led CVS to work more closely with hospitals, doctors’ networks, and what are called Accountable Care Organizations, new types of organizations encouraged by Obamacare in which doctors agree to be paid not for every stitch, prescription, or procedure but based on how well patients do after treatment.”
CVS has announced it will start a comprehensive smoking cessation program as well.
Overall, I think CVS is making a smart move by not selling cigarettes. I am a former smoker and I don’t like cigarettes, but I’m not going to let them get away with the idea that this is just for the good of the American people. Where private business is concerned, rarely are moves made that don’t improve the bottom-line.
Oh, I forgot to add a big bottle of Vodka to my list. I hear it’s good for my circulation.