CVS decision to pull tobacco met with cheers, jeers
Posted February 5, 2014
Things are about to change behind the counters of CVS, the nation’s second-largest drug store chain.
The retailer announced Wednesday it will pull all tobacco products from its shelves as it shifts its focus toward health care. Many non-smokers in the Fayetteville area cheered the decision.
“That makes sense,” said Stevie Hardin. “Because they’re a drug store and cigarettes are bad for your health. So, I mean, I understand.”
Andrew Gillis is an eighth-generation farmer. His family stopped growing tobacco a few years ago, after the big tobacco buyout. He said tobacco has been under attack for years, so the CVS announcement is no surprise.
"Times are changing. People have different opinions on tobacco use, and I just think it's a natural progression of things how the tobacco industry has gone," he said.
Seventy-seven percent of all tobacco grown in the United States comes from North Carolina. It used to be the Tar Heel State’s No. 1 cash crop.
Colby Lambert is a state farming extension agent. He said he’s talked with tobacco farmers, and they’re not worried about the CVS decision to stop selling tobacco products.
"Most of them are saying they don't think it's going to really affect them at all,” Lambert said. “Most of our tobacco is exported now. Sixty-two percent of it is exported, mainly to China and the European Union. So, it probably won't have much effect."
Tammy Hernandez quit smoking for six years but recently started puffing again. She said she’s not too pleased with the decision.
"I think it's a personal choice,” she said, adding that people who smoke will simply go somewhere else to buy their cigarettes. “For them, revenue-wise, it's probably a bad choice."