However, a recent report from Forbes shows CVS’ tobacco free policy is helping their bottom line in addition to their customers’ health.
CVS reported a record $37.1 billion in sales in the fourth quarter thanks to increased pharmacy sales. Forbes also recently reported that CVS’ tobacco free policy helped them build new hospital and health system partnerships.
This success and CVS’ new partnerships make sense when one thinks about tobacco’s harms. Last year’s U.S. Surgeon General’s Report highlighted the progress that has been achieved over the past 50 years, since the release of the first U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking.
One of the conclusions drawn from the report indicated that, “Although cigarette smoking has declined significantly since 1964, very large disparities in tobacco use remain across groups defined by race, ethnicity, educational level, and socioeconomic status and across regions of the country.
This certainly holds true to Wisconsin, where 18% of the adult population smokes and disparities persist class, education, health status and race:
- 35% are people with annual incomes below $15,000.00
- 33% of Wisconsin smokers are people with less than a high school degree
- 29% of Wisconsin smokers are people who suffer from depression
- 27% of Wisconsin smokers are African Americans
I couldn’t be happier about seeing CVS prosper from their tobacco free decision.
I am a local store owner of the Atkinson Food Market, and I have never sold tobacco products. I have still been able to run a successful business for 50 years, so I don’t see why other local stores who still carry tobacco products would feel like tobacco is necessary for them to survive.
I believe that CVS going tobacco free will encourage other pharmacies to rid their shelves of tobacco products for good. It just makes good business sense.
Members of the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Poverty Network are proud to have CVS Health as a partner in reducing tobacco’s toll.
For more on local tobacco prevention and control efforts, contact the WTPPN at (414) 418-6449 and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WiTPPN. Tobacco users can also call 1-800-QUIT NOW for free help and medications.