DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It is a major push toward promoting healthier lifestyles as CVS Caremark looks to stop selling tobacco products nationwide beginning October 1.
“It’s actually a strategic choice mostly,” said Serdar Durmusoglu, Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Dayton. “They have been feeling some pressure from public health advocates for years.”
Experts believe it is a decision that will end up benefiting the company despite the estimated $2 billion loss in revenue by not selling cigarettes and tobacco.
The company has also announced the beginning of a national smoke cessation program.
It is a move healthcare providers applaud.
“Even our younger population is taking on cigarette smoking and tobacco use,” said Cathy McHugh, Head Nurse for the Cardiopulmonary Rehab and Wellness Center at Miami Valley Hospital. “Sixteen percent of our high school students are cigarette smokers and seven-point-three use smokeless tobacco.”
The decision also comes after a study of smokers in Ohio.
According to the National Health Interview Survey, 23 percent of Ohioans smoke. That is five percent lower than the 28 percent of Ohio smokers in the 1980′s.
In that same time, the national average dropped twelve percent.
Medical professionals said companies are feeling the pressure of having a healthier workplace.
“A lot of companies have a no-hire policy that will no hire employees who smoke,” said McHugh.
It is a decision that experts say might have an effect on some competitors.
“Because CVS has stopped this, I’m thinking some other drug stores might follow suit because they do not want to be like that drug store that is offering unhealthy products,” said Durmusoglu.