In 2014, CVS was the first national pharmacy chain in the country to stop selling tobacco products other than FDA approved cessation devices. In the years following, they commissioned an internal evaluation of their efforts on the smoking rates of their customers and in other food, convenience, and big box stores, as well as gas stations. What they found was removing tobacco from their stores spurred some tobacco users to quit.
The CVS Health Institute Study showed that in states in which CVS enjoys a greater than 15% market share for retail pharmacies, there was a 1% decrease in cigarette purchases across all tobacco retailers. Among other reinforcing statistics, customers who solely bought their tobacco at CVS were 38% more likely to quit smoking than other customers.
This strong move by CVS pharmacies shows their dedication to public health as a corporation. We commend CVS on their leadership and urge other national retail pharmacy chains (e.g. Walgreens, RiteAid, etc.) to follow in their footsteps. Check out the link below for the Reuters article and link to the original study.
March 20, 2017