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CVS Launches New Health Name, Quits Selling Cigarettes

Apparently CVS is risking $2 BILLION in revenue in this new move…

Via USA Today:

CVS Caremark plans to stop selling tobacco products in all of its stores starting Wednesday — a move health experts hope will be followed by other major drugstore chains. CVS announced in February that it planned to drop tobacco by Oct. 1 as the sales conflicted with its health care mission. To bolster its image as a health care company, CVS will announce a corporate name change to CVS Health. Retail stores will still be called CVS/Pharmacy.

CVS, which has 7,700 retail locations, is the second-largest drugstore chain in the USA, behind Walgreens. It manages the pharmacy benefits for 65 million members and has 900 walk-in medical clinics. The American Pharmacists Association called on drugstores to stop selling tobacco in March 2010 and several small, independent chains have done so, APA spokeswoman Michelle Spinnler says. CVS is the first large chain to stop tobacco sales.

“CVS’ announcement to stop selling tobacco products fully a month early sends a resounding message to the entire retail industry and to its customers that pharmacies should not be in the business of selling tobacco,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “This is truly an example of a corporation leading and setting a new standard.” CVS is also launching a smoking-cessation campaign that will include an assessment of the smoker’s “readiness to quit,” education, medication support to help curb the desire to use tobacco and coaching to help people stay motivated and avoid relapses.

CVS says research shows its decision will have a big impact. A study the company is releasing Wednesday in the journal Health Affairs shows bans at pharmacies in Boston and San Francisco led to more than 13% fewer purchasers. Smokers didn’t just switch where they bought cigarettes and other tobacco products, some stopped buying them altogether. About 900 households in the two cities recorded everything they bought after the bans went into effect.

Troyen Brennan, CVS’ chief medical officer, says if the results were extrapolated for pharmacies across the USA, it would lead to 65,000 fewer deaths a year.

Good for them, but we’re pretty sure this new “health” initiative will make up for alllllll of that revenue lost from the cigarettes.



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