The war with cigarettes is coming to an end

Businesses are taking steps to becoming a healthier nation

It is no secret cigarette smoking is bad for you and efforts to make the public aware of those dangers have largely worked. We have recently banished smokers from the workplace, restaurants and bars. In general, efforts to make smokers and smoking seem awful have been successful.

CVS’s decision to stop selling cigarettes in the United States as of Oct. 1 is one step towards the U.S. becoming healthier.

In addition to stopping the sale of cigarettes, CVS is opening in-store health clinics.

According to, with the government projecting that health care spending will rise to 20% of GDP, CVS, Wal-Mart, Walgreen, Rite-Aid  and other smaller players are rapidly opening health clinics in their stores. These clinics, which offer basic health services including flu shots and other medical procedures that usually require visiting a doctor, represent a growing opportunity for the chain.

Getting out of the tobacco business to improve its image as a health care provider and, perhaps grow its clinics, will only have positive results.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the United States and causes an estimated 443,000 deaths a year in the nation and that was one of CVS’s main motivations to removing cigarettes.

Another part of their reasoning was that it is obvious that offering tobacco products next to what is basically a doctor’s office is sort of like having your pilotties class in a Dunk ‘n Doughnuts.

When CVS announced it would drop cigarettes at its 7,600 locations in the United States earlier this month, the only other logical thing to do was remove some of the other unhealthy products they offer, but they have not motioned on this subject yet.

Currently, CVS has a number of contracts with hospitals and health insurers to provide patient care — in many cases during evening and weekend hours when traditional doctors’ offices are closed. The chain reported in its 2012 annual report that it already has deals with 250 commercial and government health plans.

CVS’s brave and brilliant choice to stop selling cigarettes and include in-store clinics is a step towards being a better nation.