The decision by CVS to discontinue the sale of cigarettes at its retail pharmacies was influenced by studies suggesting that bans on cigarette sales at retailers with in-store pharmacies by the cities of San Francisco and Boston resulted in a 5% to 13% reduction in overall tobacco purchasers, writes CVS Associate Chief Medical Officer Andrew Sussman. The findings pointed to a possible 25,000 to 60,000 fewer tobacco-related deaths each year if retailers with pharmacies removed tobacco products from their shelves.
Fast-casual chain Smashburger has plans to expand throughout the country. The company has made deals with five big franchisors for Arizona locations. "Between 40 [percent] to 50 percent of our business is dinner. We cater to families, but it's also a place where mom and dad can get a beer or a glass of wine," Smashburger President Scott Crane said. "This is not a stale environment by any means, but we can get you in and out in about 20 minutes."
In Massachusetts, Wal-Mart is building a supercenter and grocery additions in an effort to double its supermarket business over the next year. The company says this will create 700 jobs at stores in the state.
Drugstores such as Walgreen and Rite Aid in San Francisco will have to stop selling cigarettes, effective immediately. Walgreen has fought the new law by seeking an emergency injunction, which was rejected by a judge.
Some retail chains are no longer selling cigarettes, and several states are considering whether to ban some or all pharmacies from selling tobacco products. Target stopped selling the products in 1996, but major pharmacy chains including Walgreen Co., Rite Aid and CVS still do.