It’s been just over a year since CVS announced that they would stop selling tobacco products. Tobacco earned CVS around $2 billion a year, so this decision caused them to take a bit of a hit. However, I’m sure they have gained customers because of this bold decision, I know if I lived closer to a CVS I would go to it rather than Walgreens or Rite Aid. The amount of people who smoke is decreasing. It just isn’t healthy, known to cause emphysema and lung cancer. The risks of second-hand smoke are high as well. It’s one thing to subject your own body to cancerous toxins, but you have to think about the innocent lungs around your puffs of smoke. Smoking once was “the big thing.” Before we really had sweeping evidence of its dangers. Television shows like I Love Lucy and The Flintstones advertised for various cigarette brands during their broadcasts. But since then, we have learned the harms of tobacco and dramatically scaled back advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
CVS, last year, made a very brave move in going up against the tobacco companies. Although it is expected, no other pharmacy has made the same decision yet. CVS and Walgreens are both promoting themselves as businesses wellness. Last night, Walgreens aired a telethon (Red Nose Day) fundraising for health care around the world. Both CVS and Walgreens intend on having a doctor’s office-type setting in all of their doors in the future, converting from just drug stores to all around health shops. Although I regularly go to Walgreens because it is close to home and work, I have to say I do not consider them a genuine force against CVS and I will not take their “being well” campaign seriously until they follow the precedent set by CVS and cut off the tobacco companies.
Tobacco companies need to be taken down. They’ve seen the decline in cigarette sales in the United States, but being the greedy money-hungry corporations they are they’ve come up with a way to survive through the millennial generation: e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes have been promoted as a “healthy” alternative to smoking. But this is NOT TRUE! E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, but they still contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals like components of anti-freeze and Tetramethylpyrazine, which is known to cause brain damage. More recently, there have been incidents of these electronic devices exploding during use. Don’t be fooled, e-cigarettes are no healthy alternative to smoking tobacco-filled cigarettes- they cause just as much harm. Puffing on e-cigarettes is seen as “cool” right now, much like smoking cigarettes was in the 1950s and 60s, but I predict we will be seeing commercials about horror health stories in about 20 years similar to those of the anti-smoking commercials we still see today.