Time to Choose a Pharmacy that Does not Sell Tobacco

Time to Choose a Pharmacy that Does not Sell Tobacco 

Normally we do not endorse any particular store or brand, but the CVS drugstores announced a decision on February 5, 2014 that truly deserves our admiration and calls for our support.

For many years, I have been rather amazed at the fact that at the back of all the major pharmacies, life-giving medications are made available for a full range of serious medical conditions.  The pharmacies are places where lives are saved and improved.

But at the front of every one of these stores, a huge rack of goods are sold that kill more people than any single disease, tobacco.  And on February 5, 2014, the CVS corporation decided it would empty all its stores of all tobacco products this year.  This is the first major national pharmacy chain to take this action.   It will cost this company $2 billion in revenue every year.

I am sure there are reasons it took this step that make good business sense, there are no illusions about the extent of this altruism.  But the point is that they have taken this step.
An American pharmacy chain has decided to no longer sell any tobacco products.

This is so important, because tobacco alone causes 1/3 of all cancer.   About 2 million Americans die every year, and tobacco causes about 400,000 of those 2 million deaths.
Of course, not all death is preventable, but about 1 million deaths a year don’t need to happen that year, and tobacco is the cause of 40% of those needless deaths.

It has long seemed most cruel that we sell tobacco, knowing how much suffering, illness, and death it causes.   So it is very heartening to see the medical world really step up to eliminate tobacco from our lives.  Most hospitals are completely tobacco free campuses.

And now, CVS will no longer sell it.

With this step, we now recommend that if you can choose where to get your prescriptions, you do them all at a CVS, until the other chains (e.g., Walgreen’s, Rite-Aide), and big box store pharmacies (e.g., WalMart, Target) follow suit and also stop selling the deadly tobacco products.

Today, I happened to need a photo frame, and changed where I went to be sure it was a CVS store.  I mentioned to the staff present that I thought the decision to end sales of all tobacco products was a powerful and life-giving decision, and that I would be recommending that all pharmacy business go to CVS until the others stop selling tobacco.
The staff were, justifiably, quite proud.

Bottom Line:
  • Tobacco causes nearly half of all the preventable deaths in the US each year, and fully 1/3 of all cancer.
  • On February 5, 2014, CVS made history, committing at great cost to end sales of all tobacco products by October.
  • Our recommendation is that all pharmacy commerce be now directed to only stores that have committed to stop all sales of all tobacco products.  At this time that is only CVS.
  • Let your pharmacy know if you hope that they will no longer sell tobacco, and if you plan to only purchase goods at pharmacies committed to ceasing all sales of all tobacco products.
  • This is an issue beyond politics and the varying fads in health.  Tobacco is a very serious, very addictive, and very deadly product.  It is very powerful to be able to help all our pharmacies to follow the lead of CVS.

Dr. Arthur Lavin

*Disclaimer* The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.

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