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CVS Dumps Tobacco – But What about Ecigarettes?

Filed in News & Politics by on February 7, 2014

cvs stops selling ecigarettesAnother tobacco controversy rears its ugly head… On Wednesday, February 5th, CVS Caremark (CVS pharmacy) announced plans to phase out sales of tobacco products in all of their 7,600+ stores, country-wide, by October 1, 2014.

In an official press release published on Wednesday, Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Caremark, said:

“Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

OK, but what does this mean for ecigarettes? We know that CVS doesn’t sell them, and the press release made no mention of future plans to carry electric cigarette merchandise.

Apparently, CVS is waiting for the FDA to release their pending regulations before making a decision about whether or not to offer electronic cigarette products for sale. No one knows what types of products will replace the wall of tobacco cigarettes and other smoking paraphernalia behind their counters – but, there may be a possibility that ecigarettes will take up some of that space…

andries verleur v2 cigs Our CEO, Andries Verleur gave the media his two cents yesterday, telling both Time and CBS:

“We applaud CVS for their bold and thoughtful decision to no longer sell traditional tobacco products, like combustible cigarettes. We believe in the mission to create a tobacco-free generation. With this in mind, we are also pleased that CVS will continue to emphasize the importance of alternatives to tobacco and hope that they will ultimately recognize the impact of electronic cigarettes, which do not contain tobacco, in this category.”

Well said, Andries…

Do you think CVS made the right decision? Any thoughts about what will happen in the coming months? We’d love to hear from you; just share in the comment section!

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Comments (15)

  1. jamesmike593 says:

    Right say excellent info
    need to know people that e -cigarette are healthy and there is no harm like normal cig

  2. Nancy says:

    Been vaping since Oct. Will have one year off tobacco April,2014.Had 2 pulmonary tests since stopping.The second was last Tuesday because Doctor couldn’t believe my lungs I.e.breathing has improved by 26 percent.I am an oxygen patient and was a chronic relapse smoker for 40 years.I will never have to smoke tobacco.CVS, please sell vapors.It is saving lives.My medical records are proof.The test improved while vaping.

  3. karen says:

    Several towns around here have decided to apply all smoking restrictions to ecigs also. Even though none of the reasons for the restrictions apply to ecigs (second hand smoke, smell etc)

  4. PRODOS says:

    I’m a keen e-cig user and a V2 customer.

    But I don’t agree with stopping the sale of traditional cigarettes.

  5. Priscilla says:

    I am very glad they are taking the step to dump cigarettes. I hope they start selling e-cigarettes as this is the new revolution!!! If not for e-cigs, I would still be smoking. I am hooked on the e-cig and can run 3.5 miles in 30 minutes on the elliptic now…..woo hoo! Did I mention I am 56?

  6. mj carter says:

    Nice spin! Really? How stupid do they think we are? I doubt CVS has any interest in furthering the health of the nation. If that were true, sugar, additives, most of their beverages, phosphate detergents and an endless list of health hazards too numerous to mention here…would also disappear from their shelves. They should be honest about the fact that tobacco products occupy premium space behind the registers and they could be changed up to more profitable items. They will move the sugar drinks there! Let us see if the other smoking cessation products disappear. They should not be considered tobacco products, nor should E-cigs. They do not contain tobacco nor are they combustible. CVS’s main mission statement is profit. Get real. We will shop elsewhere. That is the only power we have. Watch how they will collect luxury tax next…they are losing revenue from cigs downturn. They will not miss the opportunity. E-Cigs changed my life for the better! I am disgusted by this turn of events.

  7. Jamie Haze says:

    CVS gave up $2 BILLION in annual cash flow for five minutes of national publicity. Ho hum, tobacco customers will take their business including the purchase of other products across the street to Walgreen’s. If they really had health concerns about their product line they should stop selling alcohol, all cleaning products and anything else in the store that is potentially hazardous to human health, even prescription drugs! Has anyone read the SIDE EFFECTS, PRECAUTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS that accompanies every prescribed drug?

  8. Cheryl says:

    I switched to vaping over two months ago, and feel great about it. I certainly believe that companies such as CVS have the right to sell or not sell what products they wish. But, I will not become one of those self righteous ex-smokers who shame those that CHOOSE to continue with the habit. If the gov’t feels so strongly about regular cigs then why not make them illegal? Same reason they want to now put high taxes on e-cigs—Money… I truly hope that in time people will see e-cigs for what they are, Life Savers, an alternative to smoking and no more harmful than an asthma inhaler. By the way, if they want to tax ecigs due to tobacco related product? Are they taxing Nic replacement drugs????

  9. Greg Ball says:

    I stopped shopping at CVS because of their decision. I believe the smoke Nazi’s are fast becoming vaping Nazi’s. An attack on one group, is also an attack on the other.

  10. Al Kiser says:

    I think that it would be easier to gain acceptance if we quit calling them electronic cigarettes. Maybe call them water vapor sticks would be better.

  11. Joanne says:

    So why doesn’t the government look at ecigarettes as a smoking cessation program as they do with the patches, gum. inhalers, lozenges, and nasal spray? In effect that is what ecigs are to many smokers. The smoking cessation business has become a huge money making industry. If the government wants a smoke free society they should provide those smoking cessation products free! But like most big business they have deep pockets and you can be sure the government is getting a piece of that action! Look…. before ecigarettes and due to the government I was treated like dirt under someone’s shoe because I smoked….even though I went outdoors for required feet away from the building in all types of weather! They have taken away my right to choose to smoke or not. Why have they not taken the rights to drink from alcoholics or illegal drugs from addicts the way they have smokers? Most smokers will not smoke around non smokers as a courtesy. But alcoholics and druggies are out there socializing, driving, and breaking laws due to their addiction. The government is discriminating against a specific group and that is unconstitutional! They say it’s to stop children from starting the smoking habit….what about alcohol and drugs…..children are finding ways to use them as well.

    CVS will probably fill that large hole with smoking cessation products that DO contain nicotine!

    I copied and pasted the following from the smoke free website:


    Which Quit Smoking Medications are Available?

    The most commonly used quit smoking medications are nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRT reduces withdrawal by giving you a little bit of nicotine, but not any of the other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes. This satisfies your nicotine craving and lessens your urge to smoke. As you quit, you will use NRT with less and less nicotine. This allows your body to gradually get used to being without nicotine. NRT options include patches, gum, lozenges, an inhaler, and nasal spray. Patches, gum, and lozenges are available without a prescription. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant‚ talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using NRT.

    This is exactly what you can do with ecigarettes!
    With ecigs…. non smokers are not inhaling second hand smoke!
    It is the solution for all concerned! It is not a real cigarette so like the smoking cessation products it is a withdrawal from the real thing but helps to overcome the other habits that are tied in with smoking a cigarette i.e. what to do with your hands, on the phone, etc..

    Thanks for giving me this opportunity to vent….I am sick of the over-kill rules and scare tactics being used on smokers (horrible TV ads… I switch channels when I see one coming) and not on alcoholics or drug addicts. The government must see ecigarettes as a benefit for smokers who want to break away from the unhealthful ingredients in tobacco cigarettes and second hand smoke to non smokers.

  12. JWimbley says:

    Since I drive a gas-guzzling SUV to shop, I shall STOP sending my Pharmacy needs to your store and buy from a pharmacy NOT interested in arranging my life according to THEIR imaginations. I ‘ve been a smoker for 60 years and IF I cannot combine my smoking habits with my pharmaceutical needs using SAME amount of gas to get there, guess what YOUR store will be off my list.
    I mean you could cite “not economic feasible” or any other reasons, but since your intent is clearly to Manipulate MY life, I will decide WHO gets my DOLLARS. I will choose stores that do not make it a point that forces me to spend extra gas money just to buy WHAT ever I want, to Heaven with YOUR STORE. I shall re-direct my prescriptions away from your store TOMMORROW. And buy my cigarettes elsewhere, starting NOW. Thanks, from your new Un-welcome customer. Also, Online film sent to your store for processing never arrived yet?

  13. jeannie ereckson says:

    I applaud cvs in their decision to phase out tobacco products. I am tobacco free for 2 yrs and it would be really nice if i could walk into cvs and by any v2 product. I am curious though why they are not opposed to selling beer, wine and candy. Alcohol related issues and the growing issue of obesity in america might also be something cvs should take a stance on as well.

  14. john says:

    It is one of the saddest and strangest debaucles of our geberation that we must witness the scrambling efforts of the FDA to tax and regulate the electric cigarette.
    When one thinks about the millions of dollars in tax money that the Federal and State Governments would no longer have if everyone switched to the electric cigarette you can see why this scrambling is taking place.
    The FDA has as their alleged purpose the health and safety of the American people, and yet they would rather make it harder for countless citizens to quit smoking than have all that tax money vanish.
    For too long the American people allowed our government to take its blood money for our illness and death in the form of tobacco taxes.
    Now the government doesnt know how to keep itself running without the millions of dollars they make every month off of our blood, tears, and death.
    The claims that electric cigarettes market to children is laughable, it presymes that only children like things that taste good. I am 38 years old. I smoked for 20 years and thanks to an electric cigarette and clove and vanilla flavored e-juice have quit smoking for a year now.
    The delicious flavors of e-juice out there help smokers quit because they taste better than cigarettes do so you no longer want to inhale that terrible tasting smoke.
    Out the FDA as addicted to blood money made from the suffering and death of the American people and suppirt electric cigarettes!

  15. Lisa Buonomo says:

    >>REVISED<< This is a VERY BIG issue for me. I am a smoker….I am TRULY ADDICTED. I have a CVS across the street from my apartment I use daily.

    I feel that IF CVS IS TO PHASE OUT CIGARETTES, THAT THE E-CIGS should really be AN OPTION. It is no better or worse than nicotine gum or patch??
    I have been gathering my thoughts as to what to write in a letter to CVS about THIS VERY ISSUE!! Then, I see this article….
    I will forward this link for them to read.

    It would be WONDERFUL if CVS was to carry your products, even if for a short period of time to help the smokers start the weaning process. OPTION……TO ASSIST their customers!!! AS THEY CLAIM!!