My husband was waiting for me in our car It was parked in the CVS parking lot. I hurried
through the automatic doors, but looked twice at the signs posted there. I repeated what the signs said to my husband, followed by a question. “Does that mean that CVS will no longer sell cigarettes? He didn’t know, but it surely sounded that way. Then he added “Good for them.”
I for one, am very allergic to cigarette smoke and have been pleased to find laws enacted to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke. Before this took place, I remember so many incidences that left me wishing that cigarettes weren’t sold anywhere. Before the mall had restrictions, my daughter and I stopped in a sandwich shop and tried to shield ourselves from the fresh smoke being blown our way. The smoking women thought we should have more and purposely directed every exhale our way.
On a cruise, we sat talking to a group of people where one woman was smoking a cigarillo. I couldn’t stop coughing and had to excuse myself. One year on our trip home from Florida, we chose Amtrack’s auto-train, thought it would be fun to enjoy a new experience. The observation car was so filled with smoke, we were turned away from there. In our overnight room, the smoke seemed to circulate through the ventilating system and all night long I was inhaling second-hand smoke. I wrote the company about this, only to be told, “that was the way it was and would continue to be.” Since then, “no smoking” has been enforced on the train and I believe on the cruise ships, or special smoking areas have been made available.
As of October 1, CVS will end the sale of tobacco in all 7600 stores. They believe that as a health care company, it’s time for them to take a stand and put their customers on a path to better health. Their slogan is “CVS Quits For Good, We Want To Help You Quit, Too.” Is this new development meeting with the approval of the public? Yes and No!
I read some of the comments made by their customers and a good number of them are asking if the company plans to stop the sale of beer and wine? “I never heard of a smoker causing a head-on collision and killing innocent people.” “No worry to smokers,” wrote another person, “you’ll be able to poison your lungs and shave additional years off your life at your nearest gas station.”
One woman said she found it sad to think that people wouldn’t shop at a store that stops selling cigarettes. Another customer praised CVS on their bold move and offered her respect. “But what about all the junk food, soda and alcohol, shouldn’t these be pulled from your shelves,” said, yet, another person. Others seemed concerned that choices were being taken away from Americans. Still another asked about all the junk food and sweets being sold. “They lead to diabetes and a number of other life threatening issues,” she said. A non-smoking customer disapproved of prohibitionist movements, like this one, and said corporate hypocrisy was more dangerous than smoking. There are some people who think a pharmacy is no place to sell cigarettes. One thanked CVS for making her switch easier and another one said he truly believed the only way he would ever be able to quit smoking is if all cigarettes would be banned.
As I read these comments I tried to understand people’s differing opinions. I think the comments that caught my attention the most was the man who said, “It’s a nasty habit and I hate the day I started.” “Now you’ll be in a position to help us,” wrote another smoker, who suggested that CVS hold weekend “clinics” to help smokers become non-smokers.
Smoking is an addiction many wish they could stop. Perhaps CVS’s stand against it will be another step toward helping those wishing to break the smoking habit. What are your thoughts on this? I hope you’ll write to Shirl and You.