The Water Cooler – Should CVS Stop Selling Alcohol?

February 5, 2014 12:00 pm · 74 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

We told you earlier today that CVS is planning to stop selling all tobacco related products because according to their CEO, “tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered”.

If they want to focus on healthcare, do you think they should ban alcohol next?

Talk about it….


1 Horse n around February 5, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Hell No! Momma needs her Martini’s!

2 Awww yea! February 5, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I initially thought that they should also stop selling alcohol when I read the original post. Then I thought maybe I was being too much of a prude or health nut or whatever. But in thinking about it, I say they should discontinue their alcohol sales. Otherwise, they’re not turkey helping their communities get healthy. In addition, their liquor prices are usually ridiculously high and people can go elsewhere for their booze.

3 Its up to them February 5, 2014 at 12:06 PM

They have to decide what’s more important, healthcare or profits. Moderate consumption of Alcohol has been suggested as being helpful. Anything consumed in large amounts is harmful.

People need to take care of themselves, not rely on others to help them with their own shortcomings.

4 Anon777 February 5, 2014 at 12:06 PM

If they want to take that high horse path, then absolutely, they should stop selling alcohol too.

5 DD February 5, 2014 at 12:08 PM

If tobacco and alcohol products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered then you should also ban, chips, candy, soda, etc.

6 Jojo Potato February 5, 2014 at 12:11 PM

No, some of their prices are the lowest around. Did you see the recent news from the UK that they might outlaw selling liquor that is costing less per whatever than bottled water? But really, are we going to try prohibition again?

7 Mr. Pink February 5, 2014 at 12:12 PM


8 The Closer February 5, 2014 at 12:14 PM

No. Where will it stop? Stop selling candy? Chips? Sodas? Besides, my alcohol consumption is…uh…”medicinal”.

9 Just me February 5, 2014 at 12:18 PM

A physician will tell a pregnant women that it is ok to have a occasional glass of wine…they will not say its ok to have a occasional cigarette…

10 Clayton Pete February 5, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Selling booze in a pharmacy is stupid, just like selling tobacco.
I’ll buy my beer and wine elsewhere, not a problem.

11 stay out of their business February 5, 2014 at 12:19 PM

I think they should stsy out of their budynessand let them sell whstever they want.

12 bs February 5, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Perscription drugs are more dangerous than booze and smokes.

13 Incognito February 5, 2014 at 12:26 PM

I find it interesting the CEO put this type of statement “out there”.

If this is the CEO’s point of view, then you better following through completely and this means not only eliminating alcohol, but all candy products, chips, sodas. With obesity in America out of control, CVS would be contributing to the problem by selling these products. And, we all know how bad soda is for you.

Next thing you’ll see CVS closing its stores which is fine by me. I miss Longs Drugs.

14 WOW February 5, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Everyone who buys cigarettes or alcohol is an adult, they can manage their own healthcare. CVS is trying to show some sort of social responsibility by banning cigarettes, that’s all that is. I highly doubt CVS is doing this for the good of their customers, businesses are run by greed not concern for others.

15 aj buttacavoli February 5, 2014 at 12:26 PM

I have believed for a long time that alcohol and tobacco should be sold ONLY in state owned stores with the state reaping the profits!

16 Clayton Squirrel February 5, 2014 at 12:29 PM

No, a glass of wine occasionally is not harmful. Smoking is always harmful. They are not in the same category. M & M’s were created as a non-melting candy that soldiers and such could carry in their pockets as a source of energy. Also not bad for you in moderation.

17 DanMtz February 5, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Tobacco isn’t “medicinal” in any dosage, AFAIK. Alcohol might be. So, there’s their excuse to keep selling booze.

18 wc44 February 5, 2014 at 12:32 PM

They should stop selling it to the bums in Walnut Creek.

19 Ted K., Supermax February 5, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Concur with #8.

Maybe if there were less old people and unhealthy people we wouldn’t have to put up or accommodate their miserable and degenerative existence.

In a reference to Logan’s Run, it’s time to implement “Carousel”.

20 Nymous February 5, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Cigarettes is definitely harmful while alcohol provides health benefits if taken in moderation.

21 Amy February 5, 2014 at 12:44 PM

CVS are very seedy looking stores and they have terrible customer service. They sell a large amount of cheap liquor to old people and alcoholics. The no cigarette idea must be a trade off for all the free advertising they are getting now.

22 Dorothy February 5, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Since they said no tobacco because they are a health care setting, maybe they should also not sell liquor. I don’t think they will though. If they followed that “healthcare setting” they would also have to stop selling chips and candy and other items that in excess also contribute less health overall.

Besides, people could go to Wally-World and get it all there for less.

23 @terdk stupid fax February 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM

You will be both of those things one day!
Unless some teenage punk finds you first.

24 Concord Guy February 5, 2014 at 12:53 PM


25 Meagain February 5, 2014 at 12:55 PM

To be consistent, obesity kills about as many Americans as tobacco each year. So stop selling junk food packed with sugar. Also alcohol kills many, causes health problems if abused, so yes, to be consistent. But it is up to them. I will however not be too impressed unless they also stop selling alcohol, and the pain and misery alcoholism causes millions of people each year liver failure , dui death and injury..etc…. But again, what about junk food? everything in moderation I guess it the key. Even standing up for your convictions..

26 Always Right February 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

There are safe levels of alcohol consumption. There is NO safe level of smoking. Your first puff can cause cancer.

27 Soft Spot February 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM

We have already had a Nanny State (both state and federal) for 5+ years now, and obviously they know what’s best for us, so I say leave it to them. It doesn’t really matter what the businessman thinks anyway. :)

28 Silva February 5, 2014 at 1:00 PM

I miss Long’s too.

29 nytemuvr February 5, 2014 at 1:12 PM

@Always Right #26
You’re not… stupid does that sound, really?

30 dilligafman February 5, 2014 at 1:15 PM

where are the homeless bums and panhandlers ‘spose to steal their smokes and alcohol from?

31 mmhhh February 5, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Why stop with tobacco?
since they stopped selling tobacco for “health reasons”, why not also include: liquor, sugar and fat.
I miss longs

32 Incognito February 5, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Water Cooler topic for Thursday: Who misses Longs Drug Store?

33 unknown February 5, 2014 at 1:43 PM

It is the by products, cigarette butts, contaminated the streets and water system.
If you chewing Tobacco, then you “spittle” all over the streets. Good old slip and slide.
Second hand smoke is a “toxin” gas.
Helping non-smokers everywhere.

34 The Mamba February 5, 2014 at 1:44 PM

If they were trying o be consistent, yes, they should remove alcohol. The thing is, they are a publicly traded company whose mission is the bottom line and alcohol and tabacco are two of the most profitable products to sell. I sincerely doubt they’d cut both. My finance professor once told us, “When times are good, people drink and smoke. When times are bad, they drink and smoke more.”

35 Anon February 5, 2014 at 2:01 PM

They should stop selling energy drinks and fat burners while they’re at it.

36 Anon2you February 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Hell no, they have the best price for my beer, they are local and their refrigerators are the coldest around! Bummer about cigarettes too, since I smoke (yeah, yeah I know…) but they again are very convenient and pricing is good too. I could make an argument, like some previous posts have done, that along with alcohol and cigarettes there are several other products that are “bad” for us that will continue to be sold by CVS. Another thing is, I will be very interested to see CVS’s earnings report after the cessation of cigarette sales. I would imagine that product is a revenue generator!

37 paranoid pablito February 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM

No. Alcohol in moderation is not dangerous, but any amount of cigarettes is.
They should stop selling plutonium and shrunken heads, however.

38 nytemuvr February 5, 2014 at 2:08 PM

@Ted K., Supermax #19
I was wondering what that red light was blinking in my palm the last couple of years….maybe should start eating the Soylent Green.

39 JET February 5, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Yes I think like #34 said, if they are trying to be consistent – they should remove alcohol.

Alcohol is a very dangerous thing to some people…. and its not like it still wouldn’t be available at every gas station in town.

I think removing alcohol as well would be a good move for CVS.

40 ConcordMike February 5, 2014 at 2:17 PM

My cardiologist suggested a glass of alcohol a day would benefit me after I suffered a massive heart attack. But if I did drink alcohol, I have no problem going to a liquor store. Cigarettes should be outright banned everywhere as far as I am concerned.
And #8 and #19…
Perhaps if we got rid of all you idiots, we wouldn’t have issues any more.

41 RanchgirlCA February 5, 2014 at 2:36 PM

They can sell or not sell whatever they want. I don’t like to shop there since they took over Longs. Also, I don’t shop there for alcohol. For that theres Safeway, Trader Joe and Costco/Sams Club.

42 The Closer February 5, 2014 at 2:44 PM


I guess they should stop selling prescription drugs too eh? Maybe your cardiologist should of removed your head from your a** and you wouldn’t have issues anymore.

43 aj buttacavoli February 5, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Miss Long’s??? No way! That company stank to high heaven. Their top executives were the worst! One of their store managers (a male) sexually harassed me in the most obscene manner and Long’s sided with the manager and attempted to turn the tables on me. I took the matter to my church which was just up the street and the pastor basically told Long’s what they could do and where they could do it. Don’s mess with those old Irish priests. They’re like pit bulls!

44 nytemuvr February 5, 2014 at 2:46 PM

@Anon2you #36
Just said on CNN it’ll cost them 2 billion to stop selling smokes, doesn’t sound like good business practice to me. Long’s used to be the cheapest place to buy smokes when I was young. Smoking statistics are skewed anyway, sheeple just believe everything that they know nothing about and are brainwashed from the media.

45 Concord1963 February 5, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Yes and candy and chips, cookies, sugary drinks …….. and the list can go on and on. Oh, and CVS should also ban their pharmacies. – they make too many mistakes!!!! Very unhealthy situation!

46 Just Another Concord Resident February 5, 2014 at 4:03 PM

When are they going to stop selling knifes, bleach, ropes, brooms etc? All can be used to harm us or our families. Seriously? This is being carried way too far. The concept of individual responsibility is being lost. Don’t forget to outlaw condoms etc. since that only leads to rampant sexual activity and promiscuity. For Pete’s sake, let businesses run their business and people decide what they will and will not buy.

47 Mark February 5, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Where do you stop? Any snack they sell in a box or a bag can lead to serious health consequences such as obesity or diabetes. Ban bacon sales next? Why is CVS really stopping tobacco sales? Who knows, but if it really is for health reasons, they better start looking down all their aisles.

48 Teacher Wannabe February 5, 2014 at 4:29 PM

No positive, healthy aspects of tobacco. Only eventual death and disfigurement. And alcohol leads to domestic violence, drunk driving and more tragedy and heartbreak. Ban them both, and not just from CVS. I know prohibition didnt work, but that was a long time ago.

49 Incognito February 5, 2014 at 4:35 PM

You took the matter to your church/priest?
Did you not pursue this legally? I certainly would have if someone sexually harassed me while shopping – anywhere.

50 Free Advertising is Great February 5, 2014 at 4:41 PM

I read on this site that the CVS by Big 5 in Concord was robbed and the employees tied up a few years back. This was NEVER disclosed in the newspaper and my best guess is they asked the story to be held and the paper did due to the large amount of advertising they do. I have never felt safe in this store since then and I avoid it. It seems that if CVS really cared about the public they would be more concerned with our safety. So the cigarette thing is a calculated loss in exchange for the free advertising they are getting now..

51 funny man February 5, 2014 at 4:55 PM

To To be consistant: IE RE sugar and booze products, you can eat 5000 calories a day of empty carbs and be absolutely healthy with the right LIFESTYLE; EG very athletic burn off those , youre liver might naught like you but its’ doable. obvisiously being fat is a CHOICE
but i dunt see an scenerio where smoking a pack a day would not end up in cancer or copd no matter how much you exercise or run marathons

52 Chicken little February 5, 2014 at 5:13 PM

I think they should stop selling tooth brushes because in prison they sharpen them into shivs. We can’t be trusted.

53 Atticus Thraxx February 5, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Wonder what CVS stockholders think of this. I wonder if I’m a CVS stockholder.

Free Connie Dobbs

54 Gus February 5, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Anyone else reminded of the discontinuation of postage stamps that had pictures of children playing “unsafely?”

55 Led February 5, 2014 at 5:21 PM

No, gimme a break, why should they stop selling alcohol? Is it bad for you to drink in moderation? No. End of story.

As to selling cigarettes, that’s an easier call in terms of the negative effects of smoking, even at moderate levels. I suspect they are just looking for some way to juice their Q score, and to get out ahead of the curve as anti-smoking sentiment gets more and more prevalent. As many have pointed out, it’s not like they are stocking only healthy food products!

56 Huh? February 5, 2014 at 5:24 PM

I thinks it’s up to the business to sell what they want. Within reason anyway.

57 Abbie R. February 5, 2014 at 5:50 PM

I’d rather have a bottle in front of Me, than a frontal Lobotomy.

58 JDA February 5, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Maybe they should start selling medicinal marijuana?

59 Always Right February 5, 2014 at 6:12 PM

@29nytemuvr – do your homework before you post. Every puff you take buys you one additional ticket to ‘win’ the cancer lottery. There is no safe level of smoking. Your first puff could lead to your last breath.

60 Matt The Brat February 5, 2014 at 6:17 PM

I’m liking Ted K’s idea and am going to look up that “Carousel” thing.

61 tomtom February 5, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I think its a good idea. They won’t stop selling alchol thair is to big a mark up on it. Makes them alot of money.

62 Spanky Fortuna February 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM

This is sending a message: “Tobacco is bad. Alcohol is fine.”

That’s not what our doctors say…..

63 TFF FAN February 5, 2014 at 6:44 PM

CVS SUCKS! They should just stop selling everything and leave town. Bring back LONGS DRUGS – they were the best!

64 CrazyMan February 5, 2014 at 6:51 PM

No alcohol or drugs because we might become addicted. Food can be addictive too and cause obesity.

65 RunDog February 5, 2014 at 6:58 PM

If they want to remove unhealthy items
from their store, they’d have to remove
50% of what they are selling. This is
just more medical hysteria. Sometimes
I wonder if the medical profession aren’t
really just religious fanatics with all this
hype about how everything is bad for
you. If you believe its bad for you, you’ll
convince yourself it is and it will be. Its
the most basic form of thought control
in my opinion. It attacks the “mind over
matter” imperative. If you believe you are
healthy you can be healthy. If you believe
you are cold, you will be cold, etc., etc.

66 Noflow February 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Yes, and about 85% of the “over the counter” stuff they have on the shelves….

67 Just me February 5, 2014 at 8:54 PM

I don’t care what they sell. The only reason I go to CVS isms to use Red Box

68 mr rogers February 6, 2014 at 12:38 AM

Liquors bout the only reason to go to CVS

69 bigdaddy February 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

how about medical marijuana? there are a lot of sick people

70 Pyrrhus February 6, 2014 at 9:19 AM

I love the people asking where does it stop? It’s the company’s choice to sell whatever products they want. If you don’t like it, shop somewhere else. Do you honestly think smokers are going to stop smoking because CVS doesn’t cell cigarettes? You all act like this is some mandate from the government. It’s a corporate company making the choice not to sell a product.

71 Mimi (original) February 6, 2014 at 10:05 AM

I miss Longs. I only go into CVS when I absolutely must have something quickly and don’t want to spend the time driving across town to one of the Target stores. They should continue to discontinue all things anti-health as this will cause them to go out of business and perhaps Longs will return or Walgreen’s can move in. That would be just fine with me!

72 Just Another Concord Resident February 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

They could boost their sales and store traffic if they start selling ammunition along with their “sporting” goods.. could easily outstrip any sales volume lost due to the cigarette ban.

73 Soft Spot February 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Zero(?) chance of Long’s returning. Wasn’t it a family-owned business?

74 nytemuvr February 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

@Just Another Concord Resident #72
Longs and PayLess used to sell ammo, still have a box of deer slugs, for my Grandpa’s rifle, that he bought at PayLess at Monument and Contra Costa Blvd in 1955 or so….with the hand written price tag still on it.

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