CVS Drug Stores Withdraws From Chamber of Commerce Over ‘Pro-Smoking’ Stance

By Brent McCluskey 07/27/15

The drug store chain stuck to its commitment to opt out of nearly $2 billion in annual revenue.

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Some months ago, CVS Health made a company-wide decision to halt all sales of tobacco products inside their stores. Now the drug store chain has taken their commitment a step further by stepping down from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after the trade group lobbied globally against anti-smoking laws.

CVS Health said they were “surprised” to learn the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was against anti-smoking laws outside the United States, and upon hearing the news the nation’s number two drug store made their bold move.

“CVS’s purpose is to help people on their path to better health, and we fundamentally believe tobacco use is in direct conflict with this purpose,” said CVS spokesman David Palombi.

However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said their stance has been misinterpreted, claiming that they don’t condone tobacco use, but do support intellectual property.

"[W]e support protecting the intellectual property and trademarks of all legal products in all industries and oppose singling out certain industries for discriminatory treatment,” said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, calling the report “a concerted misinformation campaign.”

Late last year, CVS Health opted out of nearly $2 billion in annual revenue when they implemented a new policy to stop selling tobacco products.

CVS said their decision was made out of care for their customers and their company, adding that it was “simply the right thing to do."

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.