On September 3, 2014, CVS stopped selling tobacco products in their stores.
It’s been exactly one year since one of the nation’s largest health care retailers announced that they would no longer cater to their customer’s addiction to nicotine. When CVS first announced the decision, critics and analysts projected that the drug store chain would face some heavy losses as people went elsewhere for their cigarettes and nicotine products. One year later though, the chain is thriving and expanding into new markets.
While it seemed like a risky business move, health care advocates applauded the move, citing CVS’ responsibility and statement that it didn’t make sense for them to sell the products in a store focused on improving customer’s health. One year later, the move seems to be paying off. According to Forbes, the company hasn’t suffered any loss of sales when researching their public records and reports. If anything, the move may be helping the company as it essentially re-brands itself and expands to focus on health-related retail and services.
Why companies discouraging smoking could be a big deal to young adults.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 44 million Americans were smoking in 2014. While smoking among young adults and teens has somewhat decreased over the past few years, it is unfortunately still a prevalent drug of choice for younger generations. With a company like CVS no longer selling the products, not only does it make it slightly harder to obtain cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and nicotine products, it also takes a big hit at tobacco culture.
One of the most-reported reasons that young people smoke is to “fit in” with their peers. Companies that refuse to participate in the tobacco culture of making it seem like an accepted pastime are making a statement to future generations that smoking is not something that should be desired.
How parents can help discourage their young adults from smoking.
It can seem as though it is difficult to persuade a young adult to do anything they are told not to. Parents often feel that if they tell their child one thing, they will do the exact opposite. However, research suggests that children watch their parents a lot more than they may think. One of the strongest ways to keep smoking away from a young adult is to lead by example; eliminating cigarettes and nicotine from the parent’s own life. If tobacco is an acceptable part of the parent’s life, the young adult will often think it is an acceptable part of theirs.
By following the lead of CVS, parents and other companies can stand up and refuse to participate in a culture where smoking is “cool” or “the norm.” Now that other companies can observe that eliminating tobacco products from their stores won’t do as much damage to their bottom line as they would think, hopefully they will begin to follow suit. CVS may have taken the first step to putting the nail in the coffin for the tobacco industry.