The world came to a sudden and abrupt halt today, to make way for the imperial announcement of CVS/Caremark Corporation regarding their decision to stop selling all tobacco products by October of this year. This announcement was, of course, met with oohs and ahhs comparable to some of the better David Blaine YouTube videos. The planets temporarily aligned and there was a brief cease-fire/moment of silence in the Middle East. This is, of course, a huge move towards a healthier America and solidifies CVS in the annals of the history of the War Against Tobacco… yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. I don’t buy this supposed benevolent act of supreme profit sacrificing for the good of the people for a single, solitary half of a tachycardia heartbeat. Firstly, if you’re so concerned about public health, my dear CVS, how ’bout you tackle that whole handing-narcotics-out-like-candy thing you got going on? Secondly, you have yet to carry any (even shitty) electronic cigarette products in any of your stores. I recently worked for you (as recent as last year) and I know for a fact that the reason isn’t because nobody asks for them. You want to make a stand against the abhorrent evils of the hell-spawned tobacco plant and all of its murderous carcinogens? How ’bout carrying a product that has been proven time and time again to be infinitely more effective at helping smokers to quit their deadly habit than any other forms of smoking cessation? Oh, wait… I forgot that you sell Chantix and Wellbutrin at the pharmacy window. My bad.
I find it interesting that this statement of social responsibility and financial sacrifice for the good of public health is happening on the eve of a month where you, CVS, was under fire for more than a few instances of fake prescriptions being filled for highly addictive narcotics at several of your pharmacies. Here’s a short list of a few examples:
And those are just a sampling of a small, insignificant number of addicts who were caught in the act. Hey kids! Can you say, cover-up? Misdirection? Distraction? Damage control? So, let me see if I got this straight… You still sell oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, alcohol, junk food, candy, and all the ingredients necessary for the cooking of meth-amphetamines, but you’re getting rid of that antagonist in the book of life, tobacco? Well, thank God for that. I can now rest comfortably at night knowing that, although tens of thousands of people are dying horrible deaths due to your feeding of their opioid addiction, at least the cancer won’t be able to get them anymore. If we, the public, were really in a mod to hold you to your oath of perpetuating public health, we might decide to require that you cut out the narcotic offerings at your pharmacies. But there’s no chance of you doing that, is there? Especially since you barely make any money off of cigarette sales due to tax increases, but you make enough money off of the narcotics to facilitate closing the rest of the entire store without seeing so much as a blip on the radar of your profits.
And speaking of assisting the public in their journey towards a healthier lifestyle, when exactly do you plan on carrying electronic cigarettes and related-supplies? I only ask because divorcing yourselves from the sale of tobacco products only serves to drive smokers out of your store and into the next drug/convenience store over to buy cigarettes at a lower price than you ever offered them for sale in your stores. If you really care about the health of these potentially ostracised clientèle it would make logical sense to offer for sale the one thing that has proven to be more effective than any other type of smoking cessation product at actually assisting active smokers in their smoking cessation attempts. E-cigarettes have helped millions of people to quit smoking and to stay quit. You might offer up that uninformed and ignorant, half-assed rebuttals of “E-cigs have anti-freeze in them,” “E-cigs still aren’t completely healthy,” and/or my personal favorite, “There haven’t been enough studies about E-cigarettes.” But even if E-cigs aren’t completely healthy, you still sell deadly narcotics and junk food… so, there goes that argument. Why not? It’ll afford you the possibility of keeping many of the customers you just effectively banished with your ex cathedra announcement. Could it be, and I’m just spitballing here, that you make more money off of Chantix and Wellbutrin prescriptions than you ever could off of offering electronic cigarettes and supplies for sale in the front store? You know what I’m talking about… they’re those drugs whose supposed “success rate” falls well within the margin of error, and might even qualify for the coveted (NOT) label of “placebo” if not for the suicidal ideation associated with the drugs.
There are only a few ways to look at this situation, and none of these ways bodes well for your reputation as a healthcare-oriented corporation. One, those who occupy the lofty position of “decision maker(s)” in your corporate organization have been scared into obedience by the anti-tobacco movement, and have buckled under the pressure. Two, your level of ignorance is worthy of inclusion in the Special Olympics (Note: to all Special Olympics competitors; I apologize for that thoughtless remark insinuating that your mere existence is as lowly and unworthy of life as the CVS/Caremark corporation) Or three, you are attempting to cover up the fact that almost no drug-dealing sociopath on the planet can hold a candle to the profitability of your shady narcotics deals, and you don’t really give a shit about the health of your customers as long as you can keep raking in the big bucks off of ineffective but expensive smoking-cessation “medications.” This is probably the reason you have the highest profit margins in the industry when it comes to prescription sales, which amount to about $87 BILLION in annual revenue… NET revenue, that is. I know recently you have been harping about how you’re going to lose $2 billion annually when you take tobacco off of your shelves, but (and correct me if I’m wrong) that’s gross profit, isn’t it? Ya know, before restocking costs are figured into the equation.
So, the long and short of it is this: I don’t buy it, Lord CVS. I think the timing of this headline-bogarting announcement is impeccably devised to minimalize or downright eliminate any backlash you might experience over any recent bad press garnered from tales of gross pharmaceutical negligence over prescription opioid abuse. I think you are refusing to carry electronic cigarette products because you make more money off of dangerous and vastly unsuccessful “smoking cessation” drugs that might actually induce severe suicidal suicide. I think you’re defining the very word “hypocrisy” when you sell candy and diabetes medication, but refuse to sell tobacco and smoking cessation medication. Personally, I won’t ever shop at any of your establishments again because I worked for you and I don’t appreciate the way you treat employees. And on top of that, everything in your store (especially your cigarette selection) is overpriced. Walgreens is better anyways.
For a good read: