Maryland's Tobacco Resource Center - Linking Professionals to Best Practices

CVS Cigarette Bans Tobacco Sales, but Walgreens Will Continue

February
2014

CVS Caremark announced that it will cease tobacco sales in all stores by October 1st, 2014. The company will forgo $2 billion in annual tobacco sales (approximately 1.6% of total revenue in 2012) in order to continue shifting towards a health-care provider role, which consists of in-store clinics, vaccinations, and prescriptions.  While other retail pharmacies such as Walgreens and Rite Aid are also shifting to this role, CVS is the first major pharmacy to institute a ban on tobacco sales.  The initiative pressures Walgreens, the nation’s largest retail pharmacy, to enact a similar policy.  However, Walgreens spokesmen state that the company will continue its tobacco sales to remain competitive with other retail pharmacies, convenience stores, and grocery stores.  Although Walgreens will continue with its tobacco sales, the company announced it will launch a free, Internet-based tobacco cessation program.