US Pharmacy to Stop Selling Tobacco Products

March 9, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pharmacy /ˈfɑrməsi/ (n.) – a place where medicine and health products are sold
Example: The patient bought the medicine from the nearest pharmacy.

2. project /prəˈdʒɛkt/ (v.) – to expect or estimate
Example: The government projects a lower mortality rate in the next three years.

3. parallel /ˈpærəˌlɛl, -ləl/ (adj.) – having similarities
Example: Her goal in life is parallel with the company’s vision.

4. dent /dɛnt/ (n.) – a very serious impact or effect, often negative
Example: The issue on selling expired medicine put a dent on the store’s good reputation.

5. chain /tʃeɪn/ (n.) – a business with many branches owned by the same company
Example: The supermarket chain is now composed of ten stores.


Read the text below.
The second largest pharmacy in the U.S. will stop selling tobacco [tuh-BAK-oh] products starting October this year.

The CVS drugstore made this decision because selling tobacco products is not parallel with the company’s purpose. Larry Merlo, president of the CVS, said the company aims to promote people’s health. But because of this decision, the company projects a $2 billion annual profit loss.

Some known retailers in the U.S. have already stopped selling cigarettes, but the CVS will be the first national pharmacy to do so. While the company has 7,600 branches in the country, analysts think the decision will not make a huge dent in the number of smokers in America.

According to medical experts, smoking kills around 500,000 people each year, making this vice the leading cause of early death in the U.S. Because of this, the U.S. government has taken actions to discourage Americans, especially the youth, from smoking. In the 1960s, 42 percent of Americans were smokers. Now, the number of smokers has gone down to 18 percent.

CVS received a lot of support from politicians because of its decision. President Barack Obama said the pharmacy’s action is a key step for the campaign against tobacco and that the company is setting a good example. President Obama expects bigger steps to further lessen the amount of smoking-related deaths.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid [reed] also said that this decision will help save lives. Likewise, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg approves of the decision, saying that no pharmacy should sell cigarettes. The American Medical Association also hopes that other major drugstore chains will take a similar step.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with CVS’ decision to stop selling tobacco products? Why or why not?
·         How do you think this decision will affect cigarette companies? Kindly explain.

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is possible to completely eliminate cigarette smoking? Why or why not?
·         What other ways can the government do to lessen smoking-related deaths? Explain.


March 9, 2014