Restricting Access to Cigarettes Can Impact Public Health

More than three years ago, we announced that we would be the first retailer to stop selling tobacco products in all of our stores because it conflicted with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health. Newly published research from the CVS Health Research Institute confirms that this decision has had a big impact on tobacco purchasing behavior nationwide showing the influence that a retailer’s decision can have in restricting access to tobacco and improving public health. 

Our research shows that the decision to remove tobacco from all CVS Pharmacy stores reduced the number of cigarette purchases across all retail settings with an even greater impact on those who bought cigarettes exclusively at CVS Pharmacy. In fact, those who purchased cigarettes exclusively at our stores were 38 percent more likely to stop buying – and hopefully using – them altogether. 

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, confirms and expands upon initial impact data released on the one-year anniversary of our removal of cigarettes and other tobacco products from our retail stores. 

“This research proves that our decision has had a powerful public health impact by disrupting access to cigarettes and helping more of our customers on their path to better health,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D. Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health and an author of the study.