'The right thing to do'

Brooklyn Currents | 2/10/2014 | 0 comments

Several years ago, Bay Currents (the print predecessor of BrooklynCurrents.com) publicized the irony of drug-store chains, ostensibly in the business of promoting health, selling cigarettes -- the leading cause of ill health and disease. We called on the chains to stop this self-contradictory practice.

Our admonition fell on deaf ears.

We're heartened that now, one chain, CVS, finally has realized how ludicrous it is for a health provider to peddle a disease-causing product. CEO Larry Merlo has announced – with the requisite fanfare – that it is "the right thing to do" to stop selling cigarettes. The press release was accompanied by statistics listing all the horrific effects of cigarettes on the health and lives of smokers and those around them.

While we can't help wondering what took them so long to see the very vivid light – and why they're not actually removing the toxic products from the shelves until October – we do welcome this action, and we hope that it will prompt the other pharmacies to follow suit.

Here is Larry Merlo's announcement:

 CVS/pharmacy will stop selling cigarettes and all tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores nationwide by October 1, 2014

Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is simply the right thing to do for the good of our customers and our company. The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health.

As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role through our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners. By removing tobacco products from our retail shelves, we will better serve our patients, clients and health care providers while positioning CVS Caremark for future growth as a health care company. Cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered. This is the right thing to do.

                                                      --Larry Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer

Go  to cvs.com to view the video announcement


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