The Water Cooler – CVS, Tobacco & Alcohol

September 3, 2014 12:00 pm · 64 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:

Starting today, CVS (the store) stopped 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 stop selling alcohol?

Talk about it….

SKS September 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Will they position against medicinal marijuana??? THAT IS STILL SMOKING !!!

It wreaks of hypocrisy.

April September 3, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Tabasco only kills the smoker not others. Beer and wine kills in a sent people every day. It kills your live how is that not a health issue? That belong in a grocery store not a pharmacy.

Enfield303 September 3, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Bummer, now there is only 999,999,99 places to buy cigs. Good for them. they can sell/not sell whatever they want.

Enfield303 September 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Same with alcohol.

Steve September 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Great call. It’s a step in the right direction. Now if they could shorten their receipts by a few feet, I would really be impressed!

The Grant September 3, 2014 at 12:12 PM

@ April,

What is wrong with Tabasco?

It’s the hot, legendary pepper sauce!

Tom September 3, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Businesses have the right to sell what they want. Within reason anyway.

Alcohol and tobacco are probably very profitable. If you’re in the business to make money……

SKS September 3, 2014 at 12:18 PM

April is clearly a product of MDUSD.

Concordejet September 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM

is CVS turning into a Church Services?

trevor quinn September 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Hey, CVS, its fine by me that you will stop selling tobacco products, however, then stop selling soda, fatty snacks, and beer if your in the “health care industry”.

@Steve (5) September 3, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Good one! 🙂

RunDogRun September 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Seriously! Their receipts
are a health hazard. You’ll
trip over them going out the

Melinda Meahan September 3, 2014 at 12:31 PM

It doesn’t seem hypocritical to me if you consider that there are a number of drugs of abuse (typically painkillers) that are sold legally to people with a medical need for it. Sounds like they are just discontinuing over the counter sales, and I applaud people who take a stand for their beliefs even if it costs them money. (like Hobby Lobby staying closed on Sundays) Hopefully alcohol well be next. In PA where I grew up you could only buy alcohol in a State store, not every store down the street.

Melinda Meahan September 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM

It doesn’t seem hypocritical to me if you consider that there are a number of drugs of abuse (typically painkillers) that are sold legally to people with a medical need for it. Sounds like they are just discontinuing over the counter sales, and I applaud people who take a stand for their beliefs even if it costs them money. (like Hobby Lobby staying closed on Sundays) Hopefully alcohol will be next. In PA where I grew up you could only buy alcohol in a State store, not every store down the street.

KJ September 3, 2014 at 12:34 PM

There are no health benefits associated with tobacco smoking or chewing; however, there are health benefits from a moderate (stress the word moderate!) intake of beer and wine.

Anon2you September 3, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I believe I heard that they are going to take a substantial financial hit $1.2B annual revenues I think (??) on tobacco sales, and I found it convenient to pick up cigs at CVS since I also get my beer there (good price and coldest refrigeration around) so now I will have to make two stops instead of one. I do think it is a bit on marketing nonsense, since they are continuing with alcohol sales and all the junk food they sell there too. If they are really going “healthy” they should ban those items as well…

ClayDen September 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Who cares? CVS can sell whatever they want, and they are near the bottom of my list when I think of buying alcohol. Also, there is significant evidence that a moderate amount of alcohol (about a drink a day) is beneficial to your health. But as my physician told me, just because one drink is good, two drinks are not twice as good, so stick to one, with an occasional second OK. Also be aware what a “drink” is: the amount of alcohol in a beer or about a 4 ounce glass of wine.

BDuns September 3, 2014 at 12:39 PM

C’mon SKS, learn the difference between “reeks” and “wreaks” before you start guessing where someone went to school.

ConcordMike September 3, 2014 at 12:42 PM

April “crack” me up.
Not her or his fault they didn’t pass spelling and grammar.
Probably a really nice person.

CVS should not sell alcohol either. Especially with all the degenerates roaming around their store at terminal Center by BART.

Dorothy September 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

@The Grant #6. Personally, I don’t like Tabasco. Much prefer hot peppers.

Re CVS, they can sell, or not sell, whatever the law allows. I do give them credit for deciding not to sell tobacco products. But maybe there is a lawsuit lurking in the background somewhere against companies that sell tobacco products.

Anon777 September 3, 2014 at 12:47 PM

It’s their right but they do sound like hypocrites since they are still selling alcohol.

@SKS 8 September 3, 2014 at 12:49 PM

So are you apparently. You’ve already come to a conclusion on an issue that CVS hasen’t even taken a stance on, according to your first comment.

Sure September 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Stop selling alcohol too. Then I won’t have any reason to go to your crappy store anymore. They don’t have anything else useful like Long’s did.

Cindy September 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM

@April , Tabasco is a sauce, never heard of it killing people, and just what do you mean beer and wine kill in a sent people? Anyone else as confused as I am?

Good for CVS! Alcohol? Yes get that out of the store too.

@ April September 3, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Just curious. What are “in a sent people”?

@25 april September 3, 2014 at 12:58 PM

“Innocent”,, learn to read ebonics dummy!

That's All Folks! September 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

It’s public relations BS, if CVS is serious about the health of their customers they not only should include alcohol, but energy drinks and junk food as well. Also what about certain diet supplements that haven’t been proven beneficiary? Some may even be dangerous since they are not regulated by the FDA.

Concord Res September 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Eventually. One step at a time, people.

Incognito September 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

I really don’t care what CVS sells in their store, however, if a CEO is going to go public about what they are promoting, such as good health, healthcare, etc., then they should eliminate a lot of crap they sell in their stores. Quite frankly, these so-called drug stores, pharmacies are starting to look like mini department stores and anything but a pharmacy/drug store.

Yay September 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

How can anyone possibly trash CVS for ending tobacco sales? No one benefits from smoking. People don’t get physically addicted to chips and candy. I see this as a great step in the right direction.

Totally up to CVS September 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I don’t smoke, so I couldn’t care less. If they don’t want to sell tobacco, that’s their prerogative, but it’s going to cost them a bunch of money to be righteous.

Concord Living September 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM

CVS can sell whatever they want, their mindset is in the right place focusing on health; but in the real world a lot of money is made from tobacco products. It will be interesting to see how long they keep this plan and the impact it will have on their business. Compared to many other places with pharmacies, they are expensive to begin with.

Revenue September 3, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Let see what their numbers look like…. Shareholders may have something to say about that.

tired of taxes September 3, 2014 at 1:49 PM

It is all good as long as CVS does not give discounts to those who pray in checkout line. 🙂

PO'd September 3, 2014 at 1:53 PM

I think I’ll get in touch with the First Lady and get rid of soft drinks and candy. Then alcohol. Then food with preservatives. Then snacks with salt.Then fluorescent lights. Then batteries. Then nail polish remover.Then some cleaning products.Then any plastic items from China. Then pet food from China.Then vitamins and supplements from China. Then glue. Then plastic bags.Then mouthwash.Then automotive products………..
I suppose they could probably get by with a smaller store.

Clay September 3, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Should stop alcohol sales and candy sales.

Justin September 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Good for them. Nothing positive about tobacco.

Cat Wrangler September 3, 2014 at 3:10 PM

CVS made a good choice to stop selling tobacco and alcohol in order provide health services like vaccinations and diabetes and blood pressure monitoring. However, our family takes our business to Walgreen’s since they chose to stay and continue paying taxes in USA instead of moving to Europe and pocketing billions in saved taxes.

ChampagneKitty September 3, 2014 at 4:01 PM

So CVS does a good thing and people respond by looking for other things to criticize. Right.

mutts September 3, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Is everyone an idiot? Spell check didn’t fix tobacco. Made it tobasco.

Criticizer September 3, 2014 at 4:49 PM

I see you don’t have a problem criticizing the criticizers. Right.

Jesse September 3, 2014 at 4:53 PM

CVS has healthcare clinics in some of its stores. It’s difficult to position yourself as a healthcare provider if you sell tobacco products.

Unlike tobacco, a case can be made that a little alcohol won’t hurt you and might even be beneficial. I really don’t care one way or the other, but if they have to give up floor space to make room for the clinics, alcohol might be a reasonable thing to stop selling. I don’t think it helps their image as a healthcare provider. I guess they’ll have to weigh the image problem against the profit on alcohol sales.

WTF? September 3, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Who cares?

Clay September 3, 2014 at 5:36 PM

CVS should have a large healthy food section in the store instead of all that junk food.

Concord Grape September 3, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Don’t mess with me wine, Jim

Atticus Thraxx September 3, 2014 at 5:53 PM

CVS is pretty much Walmart and should be treated as such. They might be giving up some revenue nationwide, but not a lot of profit.They will raise prices on some stock quietly to make up the difference I’d bet.

@mutts September 3, 2014 at 6:07 PM

The only idiots are April and you.

Silva September 3, 2014 at 6:14 PM

I long for Long’s.

Julio September 3, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Now, if they would only clean up the outside entrance to their store on Somersville Road in Antioch, wash down the sidewalk and get rid of the panhandlers I would shop there again.

Fritzhugh Ludlow September 3, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I knew things would end up bad like this when Long’s quit selling pistol, Rifle and Shot gun ammo in 1979…(They even made You show Your driver’s License and sign you name and address in a book!). A few years after that they quit selling Night Crawlers, and soon got rid of the fishing department.

Abbie R. September 3, 2014 at 7:06 PM

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

nytemuvr September 3, 2014 at 7:35 PM

@Fritzhugh Ludlow #50
The old PayLess in Pleasant Hill used to carry ammo and fishing supplies. I have a box of .22 birdshot my Grandpa bought for 32 cents for 50 rounds and a Penn Longbeach reel he bought for $6.39 back in the early 60s. The stickers are still on the boxes. We bought all our fishing supplies there then.

Dr. Jellyfinger® September 3, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Well……. if they stop selling tobacco I don’t really care, but if they stop selling alcohol & condoms I’ll never need set foot inside the place again.

student September 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM

They need to stop selling all the candy, soda, chips, ice cream, hair dye, perfume and cologne, all those toys made in China.. actually just gut the entire store.

Olson Johnson September 3, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Now who could argue with that?

Cowellian September 3, 2014 at 9:52 PM

I like the idea of stores determining which items to sell.

anon September 4, 2014 at 12:24 AM

nothing wrong w/ alcohol as long as it’s used in moderation.

Making out September 4, 2014 at 2:00 AM

The smoke shop next to CVS at the Terminal shopping center is going to do very well. Good to keep the money local. I miss Longs.

J September 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Obamacare made this possible.

CVS stands to make a lot of money with prescription services. Because of a shortage of primary care doctors, some pharmacy providers are lobbying to also be able to provide vaccines, back-to-school check ups, health screenings, that sort of thing.

CVS is re-branding it’s corporate name to CVS Healthcare and cigarettes aren’t part of that brand. In five to ten years who knows what CVS & Walgreens will look like?

Corporate entities such as health care providers, hospitals, insurance companies, and pharmacies stand to make more money with the influx of new enrollees to the healthcare system because of Obamacare.

That means Obamacare stays.

Pyrrhus September 4, 2014 at 9:46 AM

I agree with @WTF? Who cares? It is their right to sell whatever product they want. Nobody is forcing you to shop at CVS. If we lived in some rural farmland where cvs was the only shop within 50 miles I can see how this may upset you.

Sick Of It September 4, 2014 at 11:20 AM

CVS has no problem with those scammers exploiting battered women for donations. 95% is legal net money in someone’s pocket and think its the shelters………….wake up!

Pink Undies September 4, 2014 at 11:41 AM

If they really care about health then they should stop selling prescription pain killers as well as alcohol.

Sick Of It September 4, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Candy, chips, soda, shoe strings, and forks have caused death too. What about the unregulated “supplement industry” taking up 2 isles not far from the Chinese made toys. Kick rocks CVS any fool knows you are simply gearing up for the big “health care” boom under the guise of how much you care. Tobacco sales are not doing well hence you dropped them.

Nice Nancy September 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Publicity stunt by CVS who is losing business. Watch it when you get a prescription with them. Within a month, they will switch you to generic without your approval or knowledge. I had heard this. When they took over Longs in Alamo, they switched me. I told the Pharmacist that I couldn’t be switched to generic without testing because Thyroid drugs are different even by a milligram. He said, “I’m on generic Thyroid and I’m fine.” (Yeah I can tell by your bug eyes and overall obesity.) So I switched over to Rite Aid, and the pharmacist there agreed with me.

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