CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Pharmacy chain CVS announced a major change in the way it will do business Wednesday.

“CVS Caremark is announcing that we are stopping the sale of all cigarette and tobacco products across our 7,600 CVS Pharmacy locations and we’ll be out of the business by October 1 of this year,” said Helena Foulkes, the president of CVS Pharmacy.

File

CVS is taking all tobacco products off the shelves at their 7,600 stores by October 1.

Chantal Fields, the vice president of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, called it a huge announcement.

“They are a pharmacy. Their job is the health and well being of their customers. Tobacco products do not add to the well being of their customers. It’s actually against their mission,” stressed Fields. “So it’s a very bold action they’ve taken and we applaud them.”

The reason for the CVS’s turnaround on tobacco?

“We really felt if we wanted to be an extension, of the doctors office, then selling tobacco was very inconsistent with the mission that we have,” Foulkes said.

CVS is going to take a big hit to their bottom line once they phase out tobacco sales. Foulkes estimated the company will lose about $2 billion in revenue.

Fields called it a gutsy move.

“How many businesses are willing to do something that would potentially hurt their bottom line?”

Fields said it could also be a very smart move. One in four West Virginians smoke but that leaves the other three-fourths who don’t.

“I’m a mother and to know that my son can’t go into CVS now and attempt to buy cigarettes is fabulous and that’s the pharmacy I’m going to use,” said Fields.

She said the decision could also cause a ripple effect with other pharmacies making the same choice down the road.

There are 49 CVS stores in West Virginia.

bubble graphic

25

bubble graphic

Comments

  • me

    Some of them might appear scary or undependable in the beginning, but turn out to become the changes that make our lives worth living. Once you have got your keyword or topic, take 1 minute and think about three simple points it is possible to make that topic.
    me http://cort.as/8IPm

  • IRON HORSE

    I THINK THIS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR CVS BUT THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE GET RID OF THE BEER, WINE ALSO! IT IS JUST AS MUST A RISK OF DEATH IT NOT ONLY HAS HEALTH REASONS BUT DRUNK DRIVING IS OUT OF CONTROL IN OUR STATES YOUNG DRIVERS AS WELL WHO ALWAYS FIND SOMEONE TO BUY IT FOR THEM. THIS IS A GREATER RISK MANY LIVES CAN BE GONE IN ONE DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT! HOPE OTHER DRUG STORES & HEALTH STORES FOLLOW IN THUS PATH IT HAS TO START TO MANY LIVES ARE BEING LOST TO TOBACCO & ALCOHOL! CVS STATEMENT WAS WE WILL LOSE MONEY THAT'S THE BIG PROBLEM OF TODAY IT'S ALL ABOUT MAKING BIG MONEY WITH NO THOUGHT OF THE LIVES LOST IN HEALTH & ACCIDENTS WHILE USING THESE PRODUCTS! SET AT A SHEETZ STORE FOR JUST A HALF HOUR & COUNT ALL THAT COME OUT WITH A ALCOHOL OR TOBACCO PRODUCT. THEN YOU SEE PEOPLE WEARING OXYGEN DRAGING AROUND A TANK ON A LITTLE HAND CART. THEN READ THE NEWS PAPER HOW MANY WAS ARESTED ON DUI CHARGES OF HOW MANY DIED LAST NIGHT IN A DRIVING ACCIDENT DUE TO A DRUNK DRIVER MOM &DAD & 3 CHILDREN DIED ALL BECAUSE A STORE HOLDS MAKING MONEY OVER LIFE YOU MIGHT SAY WELL THE WILL BUY IT REGUARDLESS YES TRUE BUT I THINK WITH THE FACT OF ALL THE HEALTH & DEATHS DUE TO DRUNK DRIVING IT SHOULD BE HARDER TO BUY OR MAYBE PUT A AMOUNT YOU ARE ABLE TO BUY IN A WEEK, MONTH. I JUST THINK WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE EDUCATED IN THIS DAY & ARE TO MAKE CHANGES THAT ISN'T ABOUT GETTING RICH MAKING MONEY OVER LIVES!

  • WEST VIRGINIAN

    x

  • BH

    Good for CVS.

  • Aaron

    While I might question the revenue because I honestly don't know of many people who go to drug stores to purchase cigarettes, I agree with Bookman that the profits are minimal.

    • Larry

      I'm not sure about that, a lot of "disabled" people who are prescribed massive amounts of pills, are also heavy smokers!

    • The bookman

      The 2B revenue includes the revenue lost to other purchases made along with tobacco by the same customers, and the decision is expected to directly cost 6-9 cents per share with a projected value near $4.50. Revenues will fall from 133B to 131B but they expect to forge stronger ties to health providers to erase the loss in the near short term.

      http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304851104579363520905849600?mg=reno64-wsj

  • Independent View

    Let's get our head around this purely marketing move by CVS. We are going to stop selling tobacco products, but we plan to continue selling high profit items such as alchol and the abortion pill "Morning After" Makes perfect sense.

  • The bookman

    CVS is a private company and they would only do this to better position themselves competitively. No different than Fruth or Rite-Aid with the pseudo ephedrine issue. It is always about bottom line and market advantage. Not that there is a thing wrong with that, however. Cigarettes are an avenue for customers, and they have market data research that suggests that they gain little in the way of margin in selling smokes. I bet the margin on cigarettes is very small, and giving up the revenue may sound large, the impact to the bottom line is tiny. Add in the publicity from such a positive health statement and Bingo!

    Great strategy. If successful, watch others follow suit, and I hope so. The clerks can never seem to find that obscure Marlboro 100's Menthols in a box with the promotional free coupons for the guy in front of me on the wall of smokes behind the counter!

    • Larry

      Alcohol kills 88,000 people every year in the US, stop selling it too and imagine the publicity of 2 very positive health statements!

      • flossrancher

        Many people do ruin their lives and kill themselves and others with alcohol, but many more people drink in a controlled and healthy manner, deciding for themselves when they will drink and how much. The same can not be said for tobacco. Smokers are addicts; they do not wake up and decide whether they will smoke that day. That's the difference between cigarettes and substances like alcohol, fatty food, internet use, and many others which have potential for either appropriate or excessive use.

        • Larry

          Alcoholics are addicts too, drunks don't wake up and decide if they'll drink that day either, all I'm saying is that from a societal standpoint, drinking causes far more problems than smoking, and it's not debatable.

          • Larry

            Can you provide scientific evidence to back that up?

          • cam

            The amount you have to drink to become an alcoholic is much different than the amount of tobacco you have to use to become addicted to nicotine.

      • The bookman

        You would have to sell that to CVS, not me. Alcohol certainly has its downside, along with a host of other vices. Cigarettes have no margin as the government has taxed the product to such a degree as to erase it. If it were high margin, CVS would not be seeing the light, so to speak. When the government treats alcohol like they do cigarettes, then you'll see markets move away from selling it for zero profit like they do cigarettes now.

  • GregG

    Since CVS is so concerned about everyone's health I guess they are going to stop selling drugs, Rx drug abuse is a big problem in this country. And what about obesity? Are they going to stop selling chips and candy bars? Oh, and what about that cheap perfume and make-up, who knows what damage that stuff is doing. And let's not forget the alcohol. If they are losing $2 billion in revenue, you can bet your backside they are getting some kind of government kickback. I call........BS!!

  • Artie

    In my younger days I worked at a grocery store where the owner chose not to sell tobacco or alcohol. Many said he was crazy for not doing so. But he made a ton of money over the years doing a good job of selling and offering service on the products he DID offer. He didn't have to rely on the smokes and drinks to support his store. I think that is what you see in some of the smaller operations, they have to have the tobacco and alcohol sales in order to survive. CVS certainly doesn't.

  • RogerD

    Something smells here and it's not tobacco smoke. I have nothing in this since I don't smoke or shop at CVS.

    If we had investigative journalists like in the old days we'd know a whole lot more.

  • Larry

    Hopefully they will do the right thing, and also stop selling alcohol, a much more harmful substance to society than tobacco.

    • cam

      I disagree. I don't think alcohol isn't without the potential for harm, but tobacco is far worse.
      Alcohol is proven to have some positive health benefits and can be consumed in such a way that there are minimal negative health consequences and zero ill-effects to nearby people.
      Tobacco always has the negative consequences and, at least while smoked, it negatively affects everybody nearby.
      Sure, you can become an alcoholic, but the nicotine in tobacco is far more addictive.
      You can also drive impaired while drunk, but for what I'd say are low percentages of people who drive drunk, the negatives are low there as well. Tobacco causes chronic health problems in most people that consume tobacco, as well as others around them.

      • Larry

        Totally wrong, while smoking is a terrible habit that I detest, alcohol has caused the deaths of many innocent motorists, causes marriages to fail, children to be abused, leads to robberies, beatings, stabbings, murders, etc. And to be fair, smoking does not always lead to terrible illness and death, many people smoke their entire lives and die of old age from other causes.

        • cam

          I wasn't saying that alcohol wasn't without its negatives, but the same argument goes both ways. Tobacco doesn't cause cancer in everyone that uses it, and alcohol doesn't cause everyone who drinks it to kill or harm other innocent people.

          My point is that it's possible for alcohol to have a positive effect in someone's life, where there is no such positive for tobacco.

          • Larry

            There's really no proof that alcohol can have a positive effect, other than the very shaky "red wine in moderation may be good for you" argument.

        • Joy

          Agree!

    • Artie

      Agree with you 100% there.