Bravo! 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?

Priceless.

17 Comments on What CVS going tobacco-free means for health and business

HealthPopuli.com said : Guest Report 2 months ago

[…] work the growing role of private sector organizations playing in public health. We can point to CVS pharmacy’s quitting tobacco sales and re-branding as CVS health, Walmart’s growing footprint in health, and a growing number of […]

HealthPopuli.com said : Guest Report 2 months ago

[…] work the growing role of private sector organizations playing in public health. We can point to CVS pharmacy’s quitting tobacco sales and re-branding as CVS health, Walmart’s growing footprint in health, and a growing number of […]

Chewing on Raley’s Social Impact Report: Re-Imagining the Future of Food, Health and Community – Maxi Health said : Guest Report 8 months ago

[…] too, that Raley’s is a tobacco-free zone, making the choice that CVS/pharmacy made back in 2014 to drop tobacco from its stores and re-brand as CVS/health. In 2015, Raley’s […]

HealthPopuli.com said : Guest Report 8 months ago

[…] too, that Raley’s is a tobacco-free zone, making the choice that CVS/pharmacy made back in 2014 to drop tobacco from its stores and re-brand as CVS/health. In 2015, Raley’s […]

How Retailers Are the New Public Health Purveyors – medicalbilling said : Guest Report one year ago

[…] an entire foot, and not just a toe, into public health waters. [I covered that event with joy here in Health Populi as soon as it was announced months earlier on February […]

Walmart’s Growing Footprint in Healthcare and Public Health, from Guns to Mental Health and Gardens – 7ttoned said : Guest Report 2 years ago

[…] five years ago I lauded CVS’s commitment to quitting tobacco, I look forward to revisiting this post five years from now in an America that, […]

HealthPopuli.com said : Guest Report 2 years ago

[…] five years ago I lauded CVS’s commitment to quitting tobacco, I look forward to revisiting this post five years from now in an America that, […]

CVS + Aetna: Inflection Point in US Healthcare, Merger Approved Update – Health said : Guest Report 3 years ago

[…] CVS/pharmacy rebranded itself as CVS/health about four years ago when the company quit the tobacco-selling business and doubled-down on health-focused investments. The Economist (whose art is shown in the third image), asked on November 4, 2017 whether this merged organization could deliver “the right dose” for U.S. healthcare. Clearly, CVS continues to need to grow beyond the core retail pharmacy business and come out in front of the counter as part of its growing health/care focus as the company’s sale of prescription drugs has recently slowed and prospects for pricing and disruption via Amazon and other tech-enabled developers who want to reinvent drug distribution channels loom close. […]

HealthPopuli.com said : Guest Report 3 years ago

[…] CVS/pharmacy rebranded itself as CVS/health about four years ago when the company quit the tobacco-selling business and doubled-down on health-focused investments. The Economist (whose art is shown in the third image), asked on November 4, 2017 whether this merged organization could deliver “the right dose” for U.S. healthcare. Clearly, CVS continues to need to grow beyond the core retail pharmacy business and come out in front of the counter as part of its growing health/care focus as the company’s sale of prescription drugs has recently slowed and prospects for pricing and disruption via Amazon and other tech-enabled developers who want to reinvent drug distribution channels loom close. […]

HealthPopuli.com said : Guest Report 4 years ago

[…] CVS/pharmacy rebranded itself as CVS/health three years ago when the company quit the tobacco-selling business and doubled-down on health-focused investments. The Economist (whose art is shown in the third image), asked on November 4, 2017 whether this merged organization could deliver “the right dose” for U.S. healthcare. Clearly, CVS needs to grow behind the retail pharmacy and come out in front of the counter as part of its growing health/care focus as the company’s sale of prescription drugs has recently slowed and prospects for pricing and disruption via Amazon loom close. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked