When CVS Pharmacy announced it would stop selling tobacco products last week, most people were either supportive or indifferent. Then there were a few suggesting the chain is a loyal foot soldier of the so-called nanny state; telling people what they can and can’t buy.
Most of the discontent is over at Fox News, where The Real Story host Gretchen Carlson asked her guests, “Is it OK legally … to restrict tobacco availability in a private store like this? For people who smoke, you know, they have a right to buy cigarettes. It’s not illegal.”
Fox Business pundits Neil Cavuto and Melissa Francis bemoaned the slippery slope CVS was traveling down, asking what’s next: Ring Dings? Doritos?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Here’s mine:
CVS has the right to decide what it will and won’t sell — whether it’s tobacco or junk food. People who don’t like it can shop elsewhere.
People do have the right to buy cigarettes. I myself use e-cigs and usually buy them at one of my local gas stations. People can buy their junk food pretty much anywhere.
The freedom to abuse oneself won’t end because CVS has gone down this path.
Frankly, I think CVS showed balls in nixing tobacco. In the short term, at least, the decision is going to cut into its bottom line. It’s choosing to strip itself to the roots and strengthen its hand as a company that deals in health. Good for CVS.
Even if it were bad for the company, so what? The owners can do what they want. Because, you know, theirs IS a private company.