On Sunday mornings, 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 Feb. 9 when he praised CVS for phasing out cigarettes – forgoing some $2 billion in potential revenue. CVS apparently felt that selling tobacco products was inconsistent with its quest to “assist people on their path to better health” – and felt that “it was the right thing to do.”

It certainly was. CVS isn’t this first to do this – just a huge chain exercising common sense and sound fiduciary responsibility.

I was shopping for a Valentine’s Day card at my local pharmacy (not a CVS). Fumbling at the register to find my “wellness card,” I noticed a wall of reach-ready tobacco products directly behind the cashier. Slanted candy racks allowed candy to practically slide into one’s pocket.

Most appalling, and frankly more insulting and astonishing, was a round display of tiny little $1.99 bottles of wine, apparently to serve when tiny little friends drop by – or better yet, while driving home.

The only thing missing was a tiny little sign saying, “Don’t get caught!” The audacity and hypocrisy, let alone the diabolical temptation, boggle the mind.


I was one of those star-struck teeny-boppers who watched the Beatles on “Ed Sullivan” with unbridled enthusiasm. Nowadays, as a love-struck senior-bopper buying a Valentine’s Day card with unbridled enthusiasm (for her who was once my high school sweetheart), what I’d really love to see is more retailers in America exhibiting CVS’ corporate conscience.

And I’d love to see the sale and the scourge of tobacco products – here, there and everywhere – banned in my lifetime.

Buddy Doyle



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