When I heard the news this morning that CVS was going to stop selling all tobacco related products by October 2014 I thought the news was fantastic. What a better way to prevent young people from starting smoking, having cigarettes not around! CVS has 7,600 drugstores and is the second largest chain in the Country.
This is a bold move for CVS since they stand to lose over $2 billion per year. I would like to see Wal Mart and other large chain stores to stop selling any tobacco related products too. The problem with smoking is that once you start many become addicted and can never kick the habit. It has been proven that quitting smoking is as hard as kicking a heroin habit. So the best bet is to try to keep anyone new from trying smoking.
Here in NYC in 2003 when Mayor Bloomberg banned smoking in any bar, restaurant, office building I thought it was a great thing. I remember reading at the time that a bartender would breathe in the equivalent of half a pack of cigarettes per night just from second hand smoke. What a good thing it was for them that smoking was banned. The harder and more inconvenient it is for people to smoke the less they will smoke. I live in a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan that doesn’t allow smoking, anywhere in the building. I think that’s great.
I am not saying all of this because I think smokers should be punished, I am saying it because I think smokers were tricked into smoking and are unable to quit. Nicotine is a drug, when the smoker goes without it too long they start craving it. When they smoke they think they are enjoying it, but in fact they are just bringing their nicotine level back up to where it normally is.
I agree with the people who say cigarettes should not be in any movies as seeing someone smoke on the screen can reinforce that smoking is ok. I also think all brand labeling should be removed from packs of cigarettes. I remember seeing gross pics that were going to be put on the packs. I think a blank white pack would be far more effective; no more being cool with the Marlboro Man.
CVS did a great thing today, I hope others will follow.