February 10th, 2014
Posted by Patti Doherty, R.N.
CVS/Pharmacy’s recent announcement that it will cease selling tobacco products in all its stores by October 1 made headlines nationwide. The decision underscores the growing power of the consumer in healthcare, while raising questions about the sale of other products that have an impact on public health.
In its announcement and in an article in JAMA, CVS emphasized the need to make smoking less socially acceptable. The number of smokers in the U.S. has declined drastically in 50 years, from 42% to 18% of the population, which still leaves 42 million active smokers, costing $132 billion in direct medical costs and another $157 billion in lost productivity. In addition, the irony of pharmacies selling products to promote health while also selling tobacco products was not lost on the authors (or the company, according to its announcement).
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