Shaking my head at this one.
The Mensa crowd at Fox News blew a gasket when CVS Pharmacies announced it would not longer be selling tobacco products. First of all, Fox News tried to blame Barack Obama somehow for a private company’s decision not to sell a poisonous product because Obama had the audacity to (gasp!) express his support for the decision. On three separate occasions, Fox analysts used the CVS decision to attack Obama (Neil Cavuto claimed CVS was becoming “scaredy-cat” because of the ACA … that doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense).
What’s interesting is Fox promotes free market capitalism pretty unabashedly. Well, here you have a company, making a decision of its own free will, to no longer sell a product — what is that? FREE MARKET CAPITALISM.
Even more ludicrous was a comment by Gretchen Carlson asking out loud if it was legal for CVS Pharmacies to not sell tobacco products since they are legal. “Is it OK legally … to restrict tobacco availability in a private store like this?” she asked her guests.
Oh … my … freaking … God. Do they give IQ tests at Fox News? And then if you fail the test, you get the job?
There is no requirement anywhere that forces businesses to sell products they choose not sell? That would impinging on FREE MARKET CAPITALISM. My question to Gretchen. So, using your logic, are you saying that CVS Pharmacies should also be required to sell guns and vibrators? Since, these are both legal products? Just frightening how stupid these arguments become.
Tom Brokaw chimes in
Retired NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw had a — not surprisingly — much more intelligent response. In his op-ed piece, “Bravo, CVS, for banning tobacco products,” Brokaw admits he is a “cigarette scold,” who is not shy about confronting smokers about their habit (Personally, I don’t take it this far, unless smokers start telling me about their Aunt Mabel who smoked and lived to be 92.).
Brokaw says he feels this strongly partly because he counts 11 friends and family members who have been killed by tobacco, and partly because he is aware of the damage smoking does to health care costs.
So I was thrilled to see that CVS — the giant pharmacy chain — announce it was going out of the cigarette business even though it meant a two billion dollar loss in sales. Two billion, with a “b.”
CVS is more and more in the health care business — providing vaccinations, clinics and the like — and selling cigarettes was not just inappropriate, but not good for the growing health care piece of their business plan.
Smokers will say they have a right to make their own decisions. We heard those same arguments about drinking and driving and about resisting seat belts. Think of how many lives and dollars the two changes in driving have saved.
I grew up in the smoking Fifties and couldn’t wait to graduate from high school sports to Lucky Strikes or whatever brand tobacco companies would distribute free to incoming freshmen classes.What madness.
So thank you, CVS for putting health, a national security issue, over profit.
You didn’t lose my cigarette business because I haven’t smoked in 45 years. But you did gain my admiration — and I now know where I’ll buy my toothpaste, razors, shampoo, cold tablets, cough drops, sunscreen and vitamin pills.