The American Medical Association, the American College of Cardiology, and other physician groups said Sunday that they want more drugstores and other “providers of health services and products” to stop selling tobacco products. Studies show that tobacco use declines when availability does.
The resolution prepared by the AMA didn’t name any retailers by name. CVS/Caremark is aiming to phase out sales of tobacco products by October of this year because, the retailer has said, it doesn’t jive with its increasing mission to be a provider of health and wellness services.
Meanwhile, CVS/Caremark now has more than double the number of retail health clinics compared to its closest rival, Walgreens, according to a new report by Merchant Medicine, a consulting firm that tracks and consults with private retail clinics.
Once CVS/Caremark announced that it would end tobacco sales in order to be true to its focus on health and wellness, other drugstore retailers have been asked whether they would follow suit. Most have been noncommittal.
This pressure by the nation’s top doctor groups might help push tobacco products off the shelves more quickly in retailers with pharmacies and health care services. Several retailers, including Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, as well as Target and Walmart stores are working to increase their health care delivery services and to capitalize on the added health care coverage of Americans by the Affordable Care Act.