With CVS poised to remove tobacco from its shelves by Oct. 1, the move is drawing mixed reviews among Clinton locals, but overall the change is being viewed as a positive.
CVS Caremark Corp. has approximate 7,600 stores all over the country, and this change will render them a large financial hit to the tune of $2 billion, but CVS only sells about $1.5 in tobacco products currently.
Clinton has a CVS location; the next closest store is in Kenansville.
“I applaud CVS for taking the first step for the American public to be more healthy,” said Eleanor Bradshaw, the county’s Register of Deeds, in an interview late last week. Even though she is not a smoker she said she knows how tobacco can impact people having seen it first hand in her own family.
“I think it is great that a company that has previously sold cigarettes is willing to take the financial hit to make us a healthier America,”noted Bradshaw.
Others were not too keen on the situation and voiced strong opposition to the removal of tobacco from the store.
“I’m not going to shop there anymore,” John Lewis stated bluntly. “I don’t see what difference it makes between beer and cigarettes.”
“I think it is wrong to take out cigarettes and not take out alcohol,” added Bryan Medford. Both of them voiced that taking out the cigarettes will limit their shopping in CVS. The bottom line was that smokers will get their cigarettes somewhere, but that somewhere will not be a CVS store after Oct. 1.
Many Americans have lost family members to the smoking, and even though research has taught that smoking is unhealthy that wasn’t always the case. The effects of smoking did not really come to light until 1964 when the Surgeon General released a breakthrough compilation of information on the effects of smoking on health.
Through acknowledging that smoking is dangerous to the well being of those that their stores are trying to help, CVS is putting their customers before their bottom line, many residents said, some who didn’t want to go on record for this story.
“CVS Caremark is continually looking for ways to promote health and reduce the burden of disease,” said CVS Caremark Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H. in their prepared release. “Stopping the sale of cigarettes and tobacco will make a significant difference in reducing the chronic illnesses associated with tobacco use.”
On their website CVS says that they consider the removal of tobacco from their stores the right choice for both their customers and the company.
(Editor’s note: The Associated Press contributed to this story. Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)