Did the CVS decision to quit selling tobacco products in its nationwide chain of pharmacies really do any good?
Yes it did, report Rhode Island researchers publishing in the April edition of the American Journal of Public Health — at least among regular cigarette purchasers at CVS.
Using data on household cigarette purchasing, they found people who only purchased their cigarettes at CVS stores were 38% more likely than others to quit purchasing cigarettes altogether after the ban went into effect. State level analysis showed states with a CVS market share greater than 15% had a significant decrease in cigarette purchasing after the pharmacy chain removed cigarettes from its shelves than states without CVS stores.
The researchers believe these findings suggest private retailers can play a meaningful role in restricting access to tobacco.
In an interview with Reuters, Stanton Glantz, PhD, director of the Center for Tobacco Control and Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, and winner of the ARCF’s 2014 Dr. Charles H. Hudson Award for Cardiopulmonary Public Health, agreed. “It shows that responsible behavior by a pharmacy has public health benefits for the whole population,” he was quoted as saying.