Friday, September 4, 2015

A year ago, to much self-generated fanfare, the CVS pharmacy chain took tobacco products off its shelves, reasoning that a healthcare company had no legitimate interest in selling addictive carcinogens.  While there's always a self-serving element to business decisions of this kind, it did represent an intriguing move by a major tobacco merchant.

Now comes a report from CVS research arm (wait, they have a research arm?) that claims a 1% reduction in tobacco sales in the sates where CVS has a 15% or greater share of the market.
The study, conducted by CVS' Health Research Institute, evaluated cigarette pack purchases at drug, food, mass merchandise, dollar, convenience and gas station stores in the eight months after CVS stopped selling tobacco products. Over the same period, the average smoker in these states purchased five fewer cigarette packs. The 95 million fewer packs sold, CVS said, was a 1% decrease in the number of packs sold.
Now it may not seem like 95 million fewer packs sold is a big deal, but keep in mind that this decision did not adversely effect the corporation's earnings. In fact, CVS is doing pretty well for itself with 2nd quarter revenues increasing 11.9% to $24.4 billion.  But more importantly the CVS example might  just prod other companies that are considering their re-aligning products and services into a healthier configuration to take those steps.

And that would be a Good Thing.

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