It Has Worked: CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) Says Of Its Exit Of Cigarette Business

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CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) has published a study report in the American Journal of Public Health that shows its decision to halt the sale of tobacco products has had a tremendous impact on reducing cigarette usage. The company linked its move to stop selling tobacco products to efforts aimed at improving public health. Tobacco smoking is associated with numerous health problems including a high risk of cancer.

Cigarette purchase decline

Since CVS Health stop selling tobacco products, the company says its study has shown a drop in the number of cigarettes purchased at retail outlets across the US. The company says its achievement shows how private corporations can play a major role in improving public health by restricting access to harmful products such as cigarettes. The company equates a tobacco-free nation to a healthier nation.

“When we removed tobacco from our shelves, a significant number of our customers simply stopped buying – and hopefully smoking – cigarettes altogether instead of just altering their cigarette purchasing habits,” CVS Health’s chief medical officer and an author of the study, Troyen A. Brennan, said in a statement.

The study analyzed consumer cigarette sales across the US prior to CVS Health stopping tobacco offering and one year after it stopped selling tobacco products.

Why other retails may join the campaign

With the study showing how restricting cigarette access can have substantial contribution toward improving America’s public health, CVS Health believes retailers that continue to sell cigarettes would see the need to follow its footsteps in banning the product at their stores.

But CVS Health continues the push to discourage people from using cigarettes. The company has come up with a $50 million initiative dubbed Be The First, which is aimed at creating the first tobacco-free generation.

CVS Health’s decision to stop selling tobacco products worried some investors who feared the company’s sales would plummet significantly. However, a look at the company’s annual revenue trend shows that its sales have actually improved since it made the move. Revenue of $177.5 billion in 2016 compared with sales of $126.8 billion in 2013. The company exited the tobacco business in 2014.

Shares of CVS Health were up less than 0.1% to close at $79.45 in the last session.

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