By Ronnie Cohen
(Reuters Health) – – The retail pharmacy company CVS Health helped its customers quit smoking by pulling cigarettes off the shelves two years ago, a new study suggests.
Smokers who purchased cigarettes exclusively at CVS stores were 38 percent less likely to buy tobacco after the national chain stopped selling cigarettes, the study shows.
In addition, cigarette sales dropped 1 percent – or by 95 million packs – in 13 states in the eight months after CVS left the tobacco market in September 2014, according to the report in the American Journal of Public Health.
“It shows that responsible behavior by a pharmacy has public health benefits for the whole population,” Stanton Glantz said in a phone interview. He directs the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, and was not involved with the study.
The results provide “very strong evidence” that removing tobacco from …