In response to CVS’ announcement Wednesday that it will stop selling cigarettes later this year, Walgreens said it is evaluating tobacco sales.
Walgreens “will continue to evaluate the choice of products our customers want, while also helping to educate them and providing smoking cessation products and alternatives that help reduce the demand for tobacco products,” said spokesperson Michael Polzin.
Walgreens announced a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare to launch a free, Internet-based smoking cessation program called "Sponsorship to Quit." The program will provide smokers with customized tools to track their progress in quitting smoking.
As reported, CVS/pharmacy said it will stop selling cigarettes and all tobacco products at all stores nationwide by Oct. 1.
“Tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered," Larry Merlo, president and CEO, CVS Caremark, said in a video message posted on the CVS webiste.
The retailer also plans to launch a national smoking cessation program in the spring, Merlo added.
Soon after the announcement, the CVS Facebook page was flooded with thousands of comments, many in support of the move.
“Congratulations on leading the industry in a smart health choice,” one person wrote.
“I have always loved my CVS store, and now even more,” wrote another. “So proud of your decision.”
But many others voiced objection, saying smokers should have the right to purchase a product that’s legal.
Read more: FDA to launch anti-tobacco campaign
“You just lost my business and I am not a smoker ... too many people infringing on everyone’s personal rights,” one person wrote.
Many Facebook users said the move is hypocritical when CVS continues to sell products like alcohol.
“If you are going to quit selling tobacco, then you in turn need to stop selling alcohol, sweets, processed foods, products used on animals, artificial sweetened products, etc.,” one Facebook user wrote. “I will take my business elsewhere."
In response, CVS wrote that “products like alcohol and candy are okay in moderation, but no amount of tobacco use is safe. Smoking is the leading cause of illness and death in the United States.”
|Suggested Categories||More from Supermarketnews|