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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Costco Phases Out Tobacco Products

A couple years back, CVS pharmacy announced and followed through with axing tobacco products from their inventory. The decision was both applauded and frowned upon; and while it is true that tobacco use can lead to serious health problems - so does alcohol use - a product that CVS continues to sell. It was discovered that CVS’s decision was driven largely by rules issued by Caremark, the pharmacy benefits management arm of CVS, rather than a desire to promote health.

There were some health experts and lawmakers that thought other pharmacies would follow the lead of CVS. While that was not the case, over the last few years, the wholesale retail giant Costco has been quietly phasing tobacco products out of its locations in the United States, Time reports. Again, the move to do away with tobacco was driven by financial reasons rather than consumer health.

“Tobacco is a very low margin business, tends to have higher theft and is labor intensive in some cases (due to local municipality regulations)—further, we felt we could better use the space to merchandise other items,” said a spokesperson for Costco.

While 189 of the 488 Costco locations still sell tobacco products, it is likely that Costco’s decision will have an impact on local convenience stores, according to the article. Many proprietors purchase their tobacco from Costco because of the wholesale prices.

The use of tobacco is addictive, and can carry with it deadly outcomes. Cigarettes are linked to a long list of cancers. Quitting smoking is no small feat, but if you are working a program of recovery it is advised that you look into smoking cessation. Research shows that people who use nicotine products are at a heightened risk of relapse. Behavioral therapies, together with nicotine gums and patches are the currently the most effective methods of smoking cessation.

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