After watching a news clip reporting on the news that CVS will cease tobacco sales in October and doing a bit of searching on social media for folks’ reaction I have come to my own conclusion on the subject. I am perfectly fine with the news, in fact if I was living in the US I would frequent CVS more often because of their decision. It is not a slap in the face of the free market, it is the essence of the free market. I’m glad it didn’t take Federal intervention to get them to do this, they did it of their own accord and the free market will judge whether or not it was the right move.
About 20% of Americans smoke, so CVS will lose out not only on cigarette sales but also on other items smokers buy when they stop in to buy a pack or two – looking at the stock market I see CVS is down about 1.5% while Walgreens is up around 1% on the news. On the other hand, CVS can definitely use this decision to further cement the idea that they are a company interested in the well-being of customers instead of selling medicine on one side while selling poison on the other.
While some folks are criticizing Walgreens for not pushing their idea further and banning alcohol and unhealthy food sales, I think that what CVS has done is a reasonable step in the right direction.