CVS quits for goodBravo! to CVS/pharmacy who today announced it would pull tobacco products from store shelves by October 2014.

“The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose,” the company’s press release asserts.

The move will cost CVS $1.5 billion in revenue annually, as the company seeks to consolidate its position as a health company.

CVS/pharmacy is part of CVS Caremark, which includes the retail pharmacy chain (the second-largest in the U.S.), a pharmacy benefit management company (Caremark), and retail health clinics (Minute Clinics). CVS Caremark also participates in a healthy communities program issuing grants for projects that focus on health in local markets.

The Journal of the AMA (JAMA) supports the CVS announcement, saying in this morning’s Viewpoint that, “The paradox of cigarette sales in pharmacies has become even more relevant recently, in large part because of changes in the pharmacy industry. Most pharmacy chains are retooling themselves as an integral part of the health care system. They are offering more counseling by pharmacists, an array of wellness products and outreach to clinicians and health care centers. Perhaps more important, pharmacies are moving into the treatment arena, with the advent of retail health clinics. These retail clinics, originally designed to address common acute infections, are gearing up to work with primary care clinicians to assist in treating hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes all conditions exacerbated by smoking.”

CVS’s no-tobacco strategy comes at a time when the FDA is re-invigorating anti-smoking efforts aimed at teens in America. Here’s a link to one of their new spots, which positions smoking as bad for “my looks,” part of understanding what FDA terms “The Real Cost” of smoking.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: This move by CVS could pay dividends to the store’s brand equity, says Donnie Deutsch on Morning Joe this morning. I agree. IN the past several years, and growing in the post-Great Recession economy, most consumers would rather spend a dollar with a company that reflects their values. As trust between people and institutions erodes, good corporate citizenship bolsters engagement with consumers looking for both “value” and “values” in their lives.

This move represents a major sea-change for public health. People co-create health where they live, work, play, pray….and shop. CVS/pharmacy just won a lot of customers, respect, and revenues to replace the $1.5 bn. And the benefit of improved heart health, reduced chronic burden of disease, and household economies saving money on the direct cost of cigarettes?


7 Comments on What CVS going tobacco-free means for health and business said : Guest Report 5 months ago

[…] Populi’s Hot Points: What is a pharmacy in 2017? CVS/pharmacy quit tobacco in 2014 and re-branded as CVS/health. Most grocery store chains universally have co-located […]

Happy 1st Anniversary to CVS Going Tobacco-Free - Health Populi said : Guest Report 2 years ago

[…] At the time of CVS announcing this transformational change in February 2014, pharmacy industry analysts were concerned about how CVS could replace the foregone $1 bn revenue CVS would forfeit by dropping tobacco from store shelves. […]

Beauty, Health and Power - Health Populi said : Guest Report 2 years ago

[…] mission, having re-branded from CVS/pharmacy to CVS Health last year. (You can read more about this strategic transformation here in Health Populi and here in my Huffington Post […]

Happy 25 million, MinuteClinic and CVS Health! | Health Populi said : Guest Report 2 years ago

[…] Populi’s Hot Points:  CVS/pharmacy re-branded itself as CVS Health last year, dropping tobacco from its store shelves and reinventing its business with a broader health message. While tobacco sales represented $2 […]

Learning from Mr. Spock and Leonard Nimoy about living long and prospering | Health Populi said : Guest Report 3 years ago

[…] Patronize businesses that do not sell tobacco. CVS pharmacy re-branded and re-imagined itself as CVS health last year, and Wall Street and investors liked it: the company ended up with a profitable year. […]

Building the health ecosystem: new bedfellows coming together | Health Populi said : Guest Report 3 years ago

[…] health ecosystem is CVS Health, whose business won’t include revenues from tobacco sales, dropped in September 2014 when the company rebranded from its identity as a pharmacy chain (CVS/pharmacy) to a broader focus […]

2.5.14 HealthBuzz – Transforming Healthcare said : Guest Report 4 years ago

[…] spreads to supermarkets, drop-in centers, and other unconventional locations.”  And Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on Health Populi called the move “a major sea-change for public health,” adding “people co-create […]

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