CVS goes tobacco free

By K. Liam Shrader
March 18, 2014

CVS, the highest selling pharmacy in the country has dropped tobacco products from their shelves.  Their CEO, Larry J. Merlo, believes the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with the company’s purpose.  While this decision is winning a lot of support and praise, some are saying that if their purpose is to promote health then they also need to stop selling junk-food and any unhealthy products.  Others think the move is pointless because this won’t cut down on the number of smokers either.

It’s true that junk-food is a huge factor in many Americans poor health, and this isn’t going to stop anyone from smoking, they’ll just buy their cigarettes somewhere else.  However, I think both those things are irrelevant to this decision.  Pharmacies are meant to be supporting good health and that’s what Merlo wants for his company.  He’s not trying to do away with smoking as a whole, he just doesn’t want to be contributing to it.   If he’s not ready to replace all of his snack-foods with gluten free granola bars then he shouldn’t have to.  Bags of Lay’s potato chips kill a lot less people than cigarettes do.

Maybe in time they do plan to sell exclusively healthy products, but I don’t see any reason to criticize what they sell or don’t sell.  Whether there is more cuts to come, I think this is a good move for CVS to make.

K. Liam Shrader

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