Smokers May Loose Their Kool: Major US Drugstore To Stop Selling Cigarettes

smoking

Virginia Slims, Kools, Menthols, Black and Milds… All smokers have preferred brand, but later this year, it will be harder to purchase tobacco of any kind.

CVS, one of America’s largest retail chains, announced they are dropping all tobacco products from their shelves. The change will be finalized by October 1st.

Public health experts say the precedent-setting decision by the No. 2 US drugstore could pressure other chains to follow suit. Some health experts argue that discontinuing carcinogenic cigarettes makes sense now that pharmacies are taking on a larger role in a US healthcare with walk-in clinics and health plan services.

President Barack Obama, a former smoker, praised CVS, saying in a statement the move will help wider efforts to “reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down healthcare costs.”

CVS expects the decision to hurt profits initially, along with a $2 billion hit to annual sales. VBut  the company looks to recoup losses through increased use of its healthcare services, namely its  Caremark unit,   a pharmacy benefits manager for major US corporations and Medicare.

The retailer also hopes to replace lost profits by signing up customers to smoking cessation programs, which will be a selling point with potential corporate contracts.

 

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