On Sunday morning, I watch CBS’ “Face the Nation” religiously. Host Bob Schieffer’s “final word” sermon is consistently brilliant, poignant and spot-on. Such was the case on Feb. 9, when Schieffer praised CVS pharmacies for phasing out cigarettes and forgoing some $2 billion in future revenue.
CVS apparently felt that selling tobacco products was “inconsistent with their quest to assist people on their path to better health.” It certainly was.
I was shopping recently for a Valentine’s Day card at my local pharmacy (not a CVS). At the register, I noticed the wall of tobacco products behind the cashier and slanted candy racks that allow candy to practically drop into one’s hand. Most appalling was the display of tiny $1.99 bottles of wine — apparently to serve when tiny little friends drop by, or while driving home. The hypocrisy and sheer audacity simply boggles the mind. (I urge Maine lawmakers to take careful note.)
I was one of those star-struck teeny-boppers who watched Beatles on Ed Sullivan when smoking was commonplace. Nowadays, what I’d really love to see is more retailers in Maine and America exhibiting CVS’s corporate consciousness. And I’d love to see the sale — and the scourge — of tobacco products banned in my lifetime.