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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

CVS Dropping Tobacco Products

Potpourri, Quality of Life, U.S.

I was a little surprised to read that CVS pharmacies would no longer carry cigarettes as well as all other forms of tobacco.  That represents quite a significant retail value to CVS and has to be a profitable segment of their business.  They cite the fact that they are in the business of helping people with health issues through their retail stores and especially through the Caremark organization that is a pharmacy benefit management company providing prescription medicines to millions of people by mail.

I was reminded of a time when I served as the vice president of marketing for a health maintenance organization in this area while I was also ‘smoking up a storm’.  I finally realized that was quite inconsistent and that became the point where I had my last cigarette.  Not that it is indelibly etched in my memory, but that happened on July 5, 1985.  I had begun my trip down that path by sneaking unfiltered Camels from the pack my father would leave lying on his ashtray.  I was about fourteen at that time.  I suspect, in retrospect, that my parents must have known what I was up to (because I can sure tell if I’m standing next to a smoker).  The Army also promoted my habit with the familiar to many "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" tossed out by the drill sergeant during breaks

Walgreens came out very quickly to say they were continuously reviewing such things but there was no mention of any plans for them to drop cigarettes and other tobacco products from their shelves.

The times change.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a box of candy cigarettes like I used to love as a kid.  I felt so grown up with one of those in my mouth, and that is an indication of the subliminal marketing world.  Marketing people love to get product placement in movies and on the television screen since so many people are so susceptible to the subliminal messages.  

Borrowing from a recent blog, maybe those little candy cigarettes were the beginning of my addiction.  Maybe they were the gateway ‘drug’ that launched my journey into that addiction.

The difference is that it is easier to stop smoking tobacco than it is to kick other habits.

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