CVS bailing on tobacco sales results in impressive drop in cigarette sales overall


Very interesting story. CVS Pharmacies about a year ago announced it would no longer be selling any tobacco products.

It’s just one drug store chain, right? No big deal, right? Well, it turns out that decision resulted in a 1 percent reduction in cigarette sales in 13 states … that’s 95 million packs of cigarettes. That means smokers weren’t just running to other outlets; it actually helped cut the number of cigarettes being sold.

Hey, you see 1 percent, I see 95 million packs of cigarettes. Every little bit helps. 95 million packs is 1 percent. That gives you a clue to the shocking amount of cigarettes still being sold in the U.S.

From a Washington Post article:

Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer for CVS Health, said many people thought that smokers would simply go elsewhere to buy cigarettes once the chain stopped selling them. “What this research shows is that we were right,” he said. By removing a convenient place to buy cigarettes, he said, “we had an overall impact on sales of tobacco products.”

CVS did its own study that showed the pharmacy chain once controlled 15 percent of the drug store tobacco sales market in 13 states.  Most of these states were in the Deep South.


From the Post article:

“I think people would be surprised that a single store, even one as large as CVS, could have a direct and measurable effect on tobacco use in the community in which it has a significant presence,” said Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

A 1 percent drop in sales may not seem like a big number, he said. “But given the number of smokers, it’s an extraordinary impact,” he said. He said the organization will be calling on other major retailers to take similar action.
I’m putting my money, as little as it is, where my mouth lies to the best of my ability. I go out of my way and buy all my allergy and sinus medication at CVS now.