National News

The Road to Better Health: CVS Halts the Sale of All Tobacco Products

CVS wikimedia commons

In a continued effort to transform from just a drug and convenient store to a legitimate health care provider, CVS has completely discontinued the sales of all tobacco products. This decision was made about seven months ago with Oct. in mind as the goal date to stop; however, CVS has decided to begin taking tobacco products off of their shelves now, about a month earlier than planned.

The company was formerly known as CVS Caremark, however now stands tall and proud as CVS Health. The theme of this transformative campaign headlines CVS Health’s website; it reads, “Our name has changed, but our purpose remains the same: helping people on their path to better health.”

CVS will be losing an estimated two billion dollars per year in revenue, but they generated 126.7 billion dollars during the previous fiscal year, according to the official CVS Health website. It takes the company less than six days to make 2 billion dollars. Health care is also a lucrative industry for CVS to get more involved in. The U.S. will spend over three trillion dollars on health care just this year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Other convenience and grocery stores have been encouraged by individual state officials and public health groups to cease tobacco sales as well, but they have refused to do so thus far.

CVS’ goal is simple: to become strictly a health care provider. The halt in sales of tobacco products, especially cigarettes, is paving the path to their goal of complete health betterment.

With this goal in mind, CVS Health has also begun the process of creating in-store “retail clinics” called “MinuteClinics.” These were created under the idea that people should have a place to go where they can receive basic medical care such as immunizations, treatments for minor injuries and illnesses, and some simple diagnostic procedures such as blood pressure testing and temperature readings. These clinics strive to provide these services at reasonable costs, during hours that reflect the operation of a hospital rather than a doctor’s office, and with shorter wait times.

Over 900 “MinuteClinics” have opened up all over the country within CVS’ 7,600 total stores, with expansion to occur over the coming years. Retail clinics at CVS and other convenient and grocery stores have reported millions of patient visits within the past few years. These reported numbers are small compared to the number of visits doctor’s offices and hospitals receive yearly; however, the prospect of growth and success for retail clinics is in sight due to a shortage of primary-care doctors across the country, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.

“I do think it’s [CVS’ discontinuation of the sales of tobacco products] a great idea; however, unfortunately, I don’t think that it will stop smokers because there are other places for them to buy their tobacco. However, I do think that it promotes CVS, from a medical standpoint, as a place to help people, especially through their MinuteClinics,” said Sophomore Ashley Manning.

CVS has received a great amount of positive feedback for their decision.

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