CVS Quits Selling Tobacco Products, Continues To Sell Other Unhealthy Goods

cvs caremarkGiant drug store chain–and the place to go to shoplift nail polish CVS is quitting smoking, but not cold turkey. By October 1st of this year, not a single one of 7,600 locations will sell tobacco products in the name of health and wellness.

The CVS website explains their decision to “quit for good“:

Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is simply the right thing to do for the good of our customers and our company. The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health…Cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered. This is the right thing to do.

If the company wants to care for its customers, then it certainly is the right thing to do; however, it’s not as though cigarettes are the only unhealthy thing being sold at CVS pharmacies. If they really do want to help people on their path to better health, shouldn’t they stop selling all unhealthy products and not just tobacco?

Here are other products sold at CVS that “have no place in a setting where health care is delivered”:


Oddly enough, I couldn’t find massive bottles of soda that could fill bathtubs for sale on the CVS website, but I also couldn’t find water bottles.

Tobacco is no good– just really oh so very bad for you, but if the pharmacy chain is going to stop selling it in the name of good health, perhaps they should phase out some of these other unhealthy goodies as well. It’s hard to take a health brand seriously while they still sell pop-tarts.

See CVS’s announcement here//Image via Shutterstock

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    • lisat

      No they are not perfect, but still a big step forward… Why you gotta hate?

      • Joanna Rafael

        Not hating, just criticizing.

      • Robotic Arms Dealer

        They also sell alcohol

        and dangerous scissors

      • Joanna Rafael


      • koolchicken

        Not in every State. I lived in MA for most of my life and worked for CVS for years. We did not sell alcohol, no drug store does. Only liquor stores are allowed to there.

        But those scissors, oh, we were lousy with them.

    • Shaking My Head

      Seriously? Tobacco is WAY worse than any of the other things you named. All of those other things are at least ok in moderation but tobacco….never ok. There’s always one stick in the mud who can’t see progress and has to get all uptight. Am gonna guess you are/were a smoker? Or you just like to be negative. Either way – sad for you.

      • Joanna Rafael

        Live to be negative.

      • Shaking My Head

        You are just looking to be provocative. Bravo! You did it! You should be proud.

      • Samantha Escobar

        She got paid to be provocative. And also, I’m her mother so yes I am very proud.

    • chickadee

      Well, only the tobacco products have a proven link to deadly cancers, so I think I’ll cut CVS some slack on selling pop-tarts.

      You realize that this piece makes you sound kind of ridiculous, right?

      • Joanna Rafael


    • K Jones

      There is a big difference between something which is safe in moderation and cigarettes that are known to cause cancer and death.

      • Joanna Rafael

        I think it’s phony to claim to promote health and still sell 5-hour energy drinks out of bins by the checkout. I’m not claiming that cigarettes aren’t dangerous.

      • Robotic Arms Dealer

        I get where you’re getting at, but CVS isn’t some altruistic mom and pop Organic Health Store. It’s a subsidiary of a massive publicly traded corporation with obligations to its shareholders.

        I mean, not selling tobacco is going to hurt their profits in itself. I think they’re hoping to get enough good will from non-smokers to make up the difference.

        Not selling tobacco, if anything, is simply a good will gesture not to contribute to a wide ranging problem facing America. I don’t think CVS is claiming to solve all of America’s problems.

        I think you should cut them some slack.

      • Joanna Rafael

        I get where you’re coming from and where they’re coming from, but this gigantic chain store definitely doesn’t need me to cut them any slack. CVS is getting enough pats on the back.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      Am I the only jaded cynic who thought that that the real reason that CVS decided to get ride of Tobacco products was to make room for a more profitable product? And the whole “We’re trying to be healthy” was just a nice marketing ploy?

      • Joanna Rafael

        I agree with you!

    • Natalie

      I have a degree in Nutrition and a Masters in Public Health and I’m sorry- No. Tobacco is proven, again and again and again, to cause cancer among other things. The other stuff you listed? Ya, it’s unhealthy, but it isn’t so unhealthy you can get cancer from it. There aren’t studies linking soda to cancer, or honestly even obesity. There are studies that suggest that cutting soda and sugary foods out of your diet would decrease weight and stablize blood glucose levels, but that’s not the same as tobacco’s horrible effects. As far as Sweet-N-Low and those products, same deal. Also- all those things you listed can be consumed in moderation without horrible results. Tobacco, even in moderation, is bad for you and those around you.
      Obviously CVS isn’t perfect and it’s still a huge coporation trying to get you to buy their products. Clearly. But your comparisons aren’t in the same universe as tobacco in terms of negative, proven health effects.

      • Joanna Rafael

        I agree that tobacco is fully terrible for the human body, but soda isn’t health food.

      • Sundaydrive00

        Who is trying to claim that soda is a health food?

        Or that CVS is now a health food store?

      • Joanna Rafael

        The commenter above said “There aren’t studies linking soda to cancer, or honestly even obesity.”

      • Sundaydrive00

        And that means they think its a health food? The commenter even said that it is unhealthy. Just because soda isn’t as dangerous as cigarettes doesn’t automatically make it a health food. But you know what, soda isn’t known to cause a cancer that kills over a million people each year. You are not at risk to get cancer just because someone nearby is often drinking soda, but you are at risk for cancer if someone is often smoking a cigerettes around you. So yes, cigerettes are A LOT more dangerous then soda. Cigarettes kill, soda does not.

        Is that really that hard to comprehend?

    • pineapplegrasss

      I could give a list of carcinogenic things on the CVS shelves. Tobacco is just more widely known, and its not the sole cause for the rise in cancer. They sell disposable diapers, plastics of all kinds, alcohol, pesticides. I agree, get over yourself CVS. Yes, it may be to promote healthier products, as they said, they have started moving in a different direction with their brand and it is all MARKETING

    • All smokers.

      Well fuck you too CVS.

    • Alyson Melody

      Baby steps, I suppose. Hopefully these other harmful products will get phased out, too.