Local News

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."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Testjmpr13 Feb 6, 2014

    Gotta make room for that medical marijuana. I'll bet they still sell beer and wine.

  • MB4579 Feb 6, 2014

    View quoted thread

    No need to get so worked up, friend; I agree with you. Of course it's a publicity move. I hardly think CVS's decision to stop carrying tobacco products will have any effect on people's decision to smoke or the overall health of their customers. But who knows? Maybe it will.

    I was simply suggesting that the poster make a clarification to his/her statement so as to make it seem less misleading. Trying to prevent the spread of misinformation, as is prudent.

  • KnowsItAll Feb 6, 2014

    tobacco farmers, like cocoa growers in Bolivia, and opium producers in Afghanistan, are only doing this in response to demand and to help feed and clothe their families.

    as long as there's a good reason for it, there's nothing wrong with growing tobacco, cocaine, or opium poppies. Sure these products kill, but only those who choose to use them (mostly).

    Time to ease up on the drug farmers!

  • Super Hans Feb 6, 2014

    View quoted thread

    lol - RIGHT! Saw a commercial on the TV last night about a father of two that never smoked in his life, but got emphysema and DIED from second hand smoke.

  • 68_dodge_polara Feb 6, 2014

    So here the thing CVS is not tramping on anyone's rights. They are a private business making a decision what to sell in their own stores on their own property. It's not at all like where the state passed the that prevents smoking in bars which totally tore up private property rights in North Carolina.

  • gingerlynn Feb 6, 2014

    They will make up the revenue in pharmacy sales with all the new people on Obamacare and in drug sales for things like diabetes and other obesity related diseases.

  • tralp Feb 6, 2014

    I may not be a smoker but I do support any smoker that wants to smoke. For this reason I will not longer be shopping at this business that will not support a persons right to make there own personal decision.

  • ncouterbanks69 Feb 6, 2014

    "You should probably clarify the statement "you need so much sugar." Your body does need some form of glucose to function, but this can come from natural foods. It doesn't have to come from the processed candies, snacks, and sugary drinks that are so prevalent in our society. "

    What? We don't need ho ho's and twinkeys? Everytime I leave the house it sure looks like people think they need it. This is nothing but a promotion by CVS. Good for them....they are getting a lot of free publicity. However this has NOTHING to do with concern over people's health. You can find things just as bad for you as tobacco in CVS and I am sure they are not pulling all of these type of items.

  • Earth Brooks Feb 6, 2014

    "But we don't live the past now, do we?"

    Many here are trying hard to do that.

  • ncouterbanks69 Feb 6, 2014

    "I think what some haven't considered is that smoking is not just dangerous for the smoker. Cancer from secondhand smoke is a very real thing. "