CVS, the nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain, said Wednesday it would stop selling all cigarettes and tobacco products nationwide by October, saying they have no place in a drugstore company that is trying to become more of a health-care provider.
What’s going on here? General Mills comes out with a ‘green washing’ piece on making Cherrios GMO free only to be trumped by Post’s declaration that not only will Grape Nuts be GMO Free, they will be listed on the Verified Non GMO list.
“Cigarettes have no place in an environment where health care is being delivered,” said Mr. Merlo, a 58-year-old former pharmacist who became CEO of CVS Caremark in 2011. “This is the right decision at the right time as we evolve from a drugstore into a health-care company.”
Who’s gonna be next in the race to wellness and customer loyalty? Watch and see as the markets begin to come into alignment with health and the well being of their customers.
After CVS announced this week that it will stop selling tobacco products on October 1, we’re starting to see petitions pop up on Change.org urging Walgreens and its Duane Reade pharmacies to also phase out tobacco sales.
The most popular Change.org petition, collecting more than 500 signatures since it was launched on Wednesday, was started by NYC resident Michael Brochstein, and calls into question Walgreens’ use of the slogan “at the corner of happy & healthy,” while selling products that cause cancer.
Says Michael Brochstein:
“I’ve signed a couple of petitions on Change.org before so when I read the story about CVS, I thought that a petition would be a great way to show Duane Reade and Walgreens, pharmacies which claim to do things to make us healthier, that their customers don’t think it is appropriate or consistent with their claims for them to be selling products that cause cancer.”
Customers and former employees are also leaving comments of support on Michael’s petition:
Chicago (September 16, 2008)
A five-star restaurant might be out of the question, but a nice bottle of wine at home? Definitely. In spite of or maybe because of tough economic times, many Americans are clinging to their smallest, most indulgent pleasures.
“Chocolate, cigarettes and alcohol again seem relatively recession-proof,” comments Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst at Mintel. “People might be cutting back or switching to store-brands, but they definitely aren’t giving up their small daily indulgences.”
Mogelonsky points out that most Americans can still afford chocolate, cigarettes and alcohol, no matter how much their finances have been cut. “Because people are being so cautious with their spending, they feel they are entitled to small rewards and they won’t give them up easily.”
The sweet tooth does not seem to be connected to the finance bone. Mintel shows the chocolate market growing quickly, with retail sales rising 22% from 2002 to 2007 (to $16.3 billion). Innovative, dark and premium chocolates are extremely popular, so Mintel expects Americans to continue indulging in this favorite treat. The market research firm predicts 4% annual sales increases each year for the next six years.
A common vice, many smokers aren’t kicking the habit, even as prices continue to rise and health warnings abound. Cigarette and tobacco product sales increased 44% from 2003 to 2007 (to $103 billion) according to Mintel. As price and tax increases continue to take hold, Mintel projects that the cigarette and tobacco market will grow 28% through 2011 (to $132 billion).
World's Most Expensive Cigarette
Motivated by high gas prices and expensive bar tabs, more Americans are opting to drink at home. But that doesn’t mean they’re drinking less. New research from Mintel reveals the market for at-home alcohol is expected to reach $77.8 billion in 2008, a 32% increase from 2003. Mintel expects both in-home and out-of-home alcohol sales to rise steadily in coming years.
History seems to be repeating itself, as the “sinful” chocolate, cigarette and alcohol markets remain steady and robust. Mintel notes a sharp contrast to other food, beverage and leisure categories, which struggle as gas prices rise and the economy stumbles.
How Much Is One Drink?
So, how much is “one” drink anyway?