Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

CVS makes pro-health decision: Decides to stop selling tobacco

See "CVS to End Tobacco Sales in October" from Convenience Store News and "CVS Caremark, No. 2 drugstore chain, will end all tobacco sales" from the Los Angeles Times.  From the LAT:
The move, which the company announced Wednesday, comes after years of pressure from public health advocates and medical providers, who have urged retailers to make tobacco products and advertising less available, particularly to children and teenagers.

It also marks a major turn for one of the country’s biggest healthcare companies, which said it is giving up about $2 billion in annual sales, or about 1.6% of the company’s 2012 revenues.

This is a big deal.  I was just thinking about this kind of stuff the other day.  Almost 20 years I got into an "argument" with someone I used to work with at CSPI, about the failure of Dr. Everett Koop's health videos to sell at pharmacies.  He said "the problem is that there is too much Koop in the videos."  I said "no, the issue is that pharmacies don't market and sell health and wellness, they sell products."

Selling tobacco is a perfect example of that.  And now pharmacies are working to become marketing touchpoints for health and wellness, including clinics in some of their stores, offering flu vaccines, etc.

CVS deserves commendations for this step.

2.  I have been struck by the decline in incidents of smoking in public space, although it still happens.  I hate when pedestrians on the Metropolitan Branch Trail smoke when I am biking there.

And despite all the accolades former mayor Michael Bloomberg gives himself for promoting anti-tobacco initiatives in New York City ("Bloomberg's Public Health Legacy Lauded," Associated Press), I am always amazed when I am in Manhattan at the prevalence of smoking in public places there, especially on the sidewalks (not so much in parks).  I hate it.  I hate walking through clouds of cigarette smoke.

I love those places that ban smoking at transit stops (although it isn't really enforced), etc.



At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something that I heard many years ago: "Smoking is covert suicide."

My mother's fatal coronary while visiting me here in DC was a result of her lifelong tobacco addiction.

While I don't "hate" tobacco smoke, I have no tolerance for it as I have gotten older and have immediate allergic reactions to it--probably a result of all the sidestream smoke over the years.

Nicotine is a very toxic and powerful drug. It gets you up and gets you down and is extremely hard to kick, just like other heavy drugs.

There is an additional complicating factor when attempting to quit. Tobacco is cured with sugar and those susceptible to sugar problems get hit with nicotine and sugar withdrawal simultaneously.

I'm convinced that cigarettes and the like are the Native Americans revenge on the White Man's depredations.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

part of the reason I hate smoking so much is that my birth mother smoked. (I was adopted at the age of 12...)

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my mom also died of cigarette smoking induced suicide but still it bothers me a lot that slowly our personal freedoms to do what we want with ourselves are being eroded- I have no problem with banning smoking in public but making it a crime and driving it underground is idiotic just as it is for pot. Anything one does in their own home is fine as long as they are not trying to harm kids or others. Awareness of secondhand smoke is important- it certainly hurt me growing up around my mom & sister both of whom smoked and were not exactly considerate to my health concerns.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

Indeed the 'drug war' was all about drug market protectionism:


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