Last week I noticed that my local CVS had cleared its shelves of tobacco.
The so-called tobacco “power wall” perfected over decades
by Big Tobacco marketing experts is gone. That’s because CVS Caremark
is the first national pharmacy chain to stop selling tobacco, pledging
to do so by October. Despite reports of the chain losing out on $2 billion
annually, it has stayed the course.
This year, the U.S. Surgeon General issued its 50th anniversary report
on smoking. It reminds us that over 20 million Americans have died from
smoking since the first report in 1964 and hundreds of thousands of lives
are prematurely lost annually from smoking. The report concludes, “The
tobacco epidemic was initiated and has been sustained by the aggressive
strategies of the tobacco industry, which has deliberately misled the
public on the risks of smoking cigarettes.”
Let’s hope other major companies follow suit to end the catastrophic
impact cigarettes and
tobacco products have on our society.