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CVS, Tobacco, & Well-Done PR Moves

It’s quite easy for a corporation to make a move that doesn’t affect their bottom line too badly and is along the lines of public opinion. They make the move, garner the praise, and enjoy the defense of the general public against the few who raise their voices against said move.

This is what happened last week, when CVS announced that it would stop selling tobacco products. The move was almost universally hailed. As a former employee, I saw the problems with such a move, which was framed by CVS as made out of concern for people’s health. Update: Fred McCoy pointed out another piece critical of the move that breaks down the numbers fairly starkly: CVS’s decision to stop selling cigarettes has got to be one of the easiest it ever made.

US cigarette sales have fallen nearly a third between 2003 and 2013, and just 18% of adults in the US smoke

CVS Caremark Corp reports that its stores will lose an estimated $2 billion in sales from tobacco products this year, but it still expects to make $132.9 billion in total sales. Moreover, if sales fall further—and they will, barring a sudden resurgence of smoking in America—it’s a smart PR move for the company to pull the products while it still seems like a sacrifice.

It plans to replace lost tobacco sales by selling anti-smoking aids like nicotine patches.

only 4% of US tobacco sales occurred in drugstores in 2012, compared to 16% in convenience stores, 21% in specialist shops, and 48% in gas stations

Though he was far from the only person to criticize my piece, David Gorski aka Orac over at Science Blogs articulated many of the criticisms I received in a way that I found accessible, so I will address them by quoting him here.

It is a story about knee jerk responses to which we all (myself included) fall prey.

My post was actually the result of much talking, thinking, and writing about the working poor I’ve done in the years since my employment with CVS. The #CVSQuits announcement was what inspired me to write the post, but the salient points could be made without any mention of it. The announcement merely highlighted the hypocrisy in a way I found convenient.

Consider this example. Your friend has just successfully quit smoking (example intentional) and tells you he’s reached his one year mark off of cigarettes. In response, you say, “That’s great! Good work. Now, about your weight…” In the same way, skeptics are saying things like, “Great job, CVS. Excellent decision. Now, about that homeopathy…”

This analogy is flawed in that it doesn’t correctly weight the effects in question. Smoking is far more deadly than being overweight. On the other hand, ceasing the sales of tobacco products will not stop smokers from smoking, but ending exploitative labor practices that lead to poverty would have a hugely positive effect on the health of CVS employees and their families.

However, all of this [the phenomenon of food deserts], as unfortunate as it is, has nothing to do with whether or not the decision to drop tobacco products was a rare responsible decision by a large corporation.

It has everything to do with it since CVS claimed that the move to drop tobacco products was to help people’s health. Again, smokers will not quit smoking because of CVS’s move. However, rectifying the problem of food deserts will directly end many problems with nutrition, something that has a lot to do with health.

when a company does something that is good for public health, [we skeptics shouldn’t] immediately attack the company for not doing something else that we think it should be doing. Accept the good action for what it is, acknowledge that it’s good, and resist the impulse to instantly yoke it to criticism of bad things the company is still doing.

It isn’t that great of a move: it will not stop anyone from smoking. As for the “yoking” in which I engaged? A great way to get people to pay attention to what you have to say is to tie it into a current event to which they are paying attention. Much as Orac used my piece to talk about his frustration with his perception of knee-jerk reactions, negativity, and demands for moral purity, I used #CVSQuits to talk about deeper inequalities that often are ignored in the greater discussions of corporate responsibility.

Smokers are not going to quit smoking just because CVS has stopped selling tobacco products; public opinion is squarely against smokers and smoking in the first place. CVS’s move, then, stands to benefit nearly no one and nothing but CVS’s public image and perhaps the consciences of some CVS pharmacy employees. Meanwhile, the company continues to engage in practices that directly lead to adverse health outcomes in its retail employees.

Just because no one is perfect doesn’t mean that there’s no such thing as a flaw or that some flaws aren’t worse than others. Just because some of us demand more and better doesn’t mean that we demand perfection: it simply means that we have different priorities. Seeing as smoking rates continue to fall despite the fact that many stores sell cigarettes, CVS’s move, made in the name of “health,” is disingenuous. If CVS really cared about health, it would make the more expensive move that would help far more people’s health in a much more direct way. They are in the business of profit, like any corporation, and so they made the slick PR move instead. It clearly paid off.

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Heina Dadabhoy

Heina Dadabhoy [hee-na dad-uh-boy] spent her childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in her right mind would have believed that she would grow up to be an atheist feminist secular humanist, or, in other words, a Skepchick. She has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007. She is currently writing A Skeptic's Guide to Islam. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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50 Comments

  1. Being a skeptic for the sake of being a skeptic is counterproductive. Too often, skeptic thinking leads to being loud, aggressive and negative…. It doesn’t work. Be skeptical of EVERYTHING, but that includes being skeptical of skepticism. In a few occasions, it’s OK to say “they did good, I’m glad” and not fuel it with negativity. Sometimes. And I do think this is that time.

  2. Heina, the featured image doesn’t happen to be the CVS where you used to work, does it? I ask because I’m certain it is the one a block from my office :-) (All the details are right including the white triangular fake gable to the right which is Mario’s Pizza.) Of all the CVS’s in all the towns in all the world, you had to take a picture of mine …

      1. Thanks for the link. I’m sometimes looking for images to illustrate posts, and I’m never sure exactly what’s legitimate to use. I suspected you got the picture from somewhere like that, but it was (to me) an amusing coincidence that you (from LA, IIRC), picked a picture of a place I go every day (not the CVS, but the sidewalk in front of it). One of those “What Are the Chances?” things, which are much higher than someone might guess. I pass by at least 3 CVS’s every day, plus go within a quarter mile of another one, during my 8-mile commute. (Almost as many as Starbucks, which BTW, is peeking through the tree on the extreme right of the picture.) Multiply that by the 10’s of millions of loyal Skepchick readers, and it’s a dead certainty!

        Not a food desert* in the wealthy suburbs, but it is a near monoculture. It should be easy to see how in a poor neighbor hood, one might be the only food retailer within walking distance for many people,

        [*] Does it say something about me that I keep reading that as “food dessert”?

  3. I enjoy Orac a lot. We can’t all agree all the time, so I hope everyone remembers that disagreement can be a good thing. Orac made decent points, but you are countered them competently.

    I don’t think either of your entries on this issue was “skepticism for the sake of skepticism”. I think you bring up great points, which I happen to agree with. While I think CVS deserves some praise for this action no matter the underlying motive, they are getting more than enough accolades from others.

    You’re expressing a perspective on this that deserves a more prominent place in the discourse, thanks!

  4. I like Orac, or at least, I owe Orac a debt because I discovered his blog at the same time my sister discovered vaccine denialism, and his blog gave me a starting point for debunking a lot of the myths that my sister was writing about. But that doesn’t mean that Orac is right all the time.

    I feel like a better analogy here is that CVS is like a feminist “ally” who attends a seminar at work on women in the workplace and expects to be hailed as a hero for showing up, while at the same time interrupting people, spouting off about their own experiences as a man, and minimizing the stories of the women around him. CVS, if they truly cared about peoples’ welfare, wouldn’t have been selling cigarettes in the first place, and certainly can do more to help workers and people in their stores’ communities, but CVS wants a really giant Cookie for their “good deed.”

    1. I can see the appeal in your statement, but in reality, I think many of us judge how well others are practicing skepticism all of the time. Rebecca had two posts recently criticizing, in very different ways, Dunning and Nye. I’d argue that both could be categorized as “telling other skeptics how they should skeptic,” and I thought both were very good posts. Neither was critical of the specific information provided by Dunning or Nye, but both identified how their non-skeptical choices might be undermining the message of skepticism (again, in different ways). I imagine we could go back to some older posts about Dawkins or Bill Maher or Joe Rogan or several others and find similar criticisms (although some of those may have been claim-specific, which no one disputes is ripe for criticism).

      Critical introspection is a strength of science, and it should be a strength of skepticism. In many ways, it is one of the key features that defines us as a group. If Orac is wrong, say why. But don’t dismiss his criticism for other reasons.

      1. She didn’t tell them that they shouldn’t be doing what they do, just that she disagreed with them. There is a certain segment of skepticism that thinks their way to do things is the only way and tells others to play nice. Whether it is telling people they should hold their criticism as a cookie for good behavior (as in this case) even if we disagree that the behavior was that good, telling others what they should or shouldn’t do (e.g. we have more than enough skeptical podcast therefore you should put your time toward my pet project), or insisting that there is only one “correct” way to skeptic (e.g. criticizing “armchair” skepticism as useless) some tend to believe that they have all the answers and others are mucking up the works.

        I liken it to accommodationists v. new atheists, being nice might help you be seen as more reasonable to some but quite often it accomplishes little else. I see nothing wrong with criticizing those who deserve criticism no matter what other nice little thing they have done.

        1. What about Rebecca saying “Don’t do it!” x4 was different or less than what Orac said? In any event, you actually make my point for me: “I see nothing wrong with criticizing those who deserve criticism no matter what other nice little thing they have done.” Agreed. Orac thought those criticizing CVS, including Heina, deserved criticism, and so he did. He made his points clear and public so that we could judge their merit, and if you disagree with anything specific he said, let it rip. Heina did that, which I applaud, and we are now free to identify who we think is making the better points. I find it encouraging, honestly.

          1. You’re telling me that you do not see a difference between someone saying we should

            Accept the good action for what it is, acknowledge that it’s good, and resist the impulse to instantly yoke it to criticism

            even if we don’t see the thing they did as that good, and someone saying to a skeptical personality that they shouldn’t do something? Here’s a hint, one of these people are speaking for others and one is speaking for themselves. And you of course are welcome to criticize Heina but if you would please bring a salient study to back up your assertion (rather than one that is tangential at best) especially when you have dismissed her as making her own assertions, it would help your case.

          2. “What about Rebecca saying “Don’t do it!” x4 was different or less than what Orac said?”

            Uh. These things are different. They are not the same thing. oh my god.

          3. Nye: “I’ve accepted an invitation to debate a creationist”
            Rebecca: “Don’t do that”

            CVS: “We’ll stop selling tobacco products.”
            Heina” “This is just a smoke screen; CVS does not care about public health.”
            Orac: “Don’t do that.”

            Yeah, your hint didn’t help me out much. I think we call this one special pleading.

          4. You are really not getting this, her advice is her advice, she is not pretending to speak for others.

            It’s the difference between “this is what I think you should do” and “this is what we all need to do”.

            One is personal advice that can be taken or not taken, the other is a presumptive imperative which is what bothers me about it. You don’t see it fine, but it is there and it sound like the old saw of “gee the world would be great if everyone thought like me”, fine as a joke, shit as a directive.

          5. I really am not getting it. I see the difference between presenting opinions as “This is what I think you should do” and “this is what we all need to do,” and I certainly prefer the first, although I have to admit it seems largely semantic. What I don’t see, however, is how the fine distinction between those two approaches is significant enough that one approach should be praised and the other warrants a flippant dismissal. I also really, really don’t understand how you were able to easily determine that “Don’t do that” so obviously fits into the first, and not the latter. Perhaps you can give me a test or standard that I could apply on a going-forward basis. Thanks.

          6. Whatever, YMMV, YOLO, and all that shit. I don’t like people speaking for me and the people in the movement who purport to piss me off. I will continue to be chaffed by it and since I have no real voice it will mean nothing to anyone.

          7. Are you aware that telling men that women dislike it when they are creepy, sexist assholes has NOTHING AT ALL to do with skepticism and is instead like, human fucking decency?

            Not everything needs to be brought back to that one little moment in a podcast when Rebecca asked men to stop being creepy in elevators!

            It is not related to this at all!

            Don’t be a sexist asshole is not the same as this subject. OMG.

          8. marilove – I’m pretty sure he was referencing Rebecca’s last video where she gave Bill Nye 4 pieces of advice about debating Ken Hamm. All four of which were “don’t do it”, which should have pointed to the tongue-in-cheek nature of the video showing that it really was only her opinion.

        1. Don’t give me this dishonest bullshit. If it just bugged you, and you weren’t trying to change anyone’s behavior, there would be no reason to tell everyone about it. And there sure as hell wouldn’t be a reason to defend your position arguing by about it with boyofd. You don’t get to slink away from the position you’re advocating just because your advocacy took the form of passive-aggressive cowardice.

          You came up with a nice turn of phrase. It feels good to say it out loud. But, like most slogans, it’s overly simplistic. Arguing about what it means to be a good member of a community is what communities do. That’s how they identify shared values and learn how to work together. The 9/11 Truthers and alt med folks call themselves skeptics. Do you disagree? Who are you to tell them how to skeptic?

          (Incidentally, I agree with Heina on this CVS issue more than I do David. This isn’t about the CVS argument.)

          1. So do you agree that there are people in the movement who get to dictate which pursuits are considered worthwhile?

            Is it okay that longtime investigators dismiss anyone who doesn’t investigate in exactly the way they do, or rather did in most cases?

            Is it kosher for people with a blog following who appears on podcasts frequently to decide that enough with the blogs and podcasts already (except for them) you should really be fixing Wikipedia because it “does the most good”?

            As for me being dishonest about this, no I was bugged by yet another “accomidationist” skeptic deciding that accepting a good (in their estimation) thing without saying it’s not fucking good enough is just not on. And yes, I got my dander up and was arguing a point that isn’t that important in the long run more forcefully than necessary. So sue me.

            But saying that I’m being dishonest about it is the same gaslighting bullshit that accomidationalists are always pulling, telling someone to stop telling you what to do is not the same as telling people what they can and cannot do and I think you know that. The only behavior I’m trying to change is people telling me what I shan’t fucking do. I can be all for free speech while complaining about the shit Westboro says, as long as I am not trying to silence them there is no violation.

            If you (metaphorical you) don’t want to be mean (or in this case say it’s not good enough) fine, just don’t tell me that is what I must do.

  5. I find myself in agreement with Gorski.

    For one point, you make this claim (or a variant of it) several times in the post: “On the other hand, ceasing the sales of tobacco products will not stop smokers from smoking, but ending exploitative labor practices that lead to poverty would have a hugely positive effect on the health of CVS employees and their families.” I think those are fairly broad claims made without any citations. I think the first part of the claim is hard to believe, and the science seems to directly contradict your claim. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24365702 I would love to see if you have any support for it, though.

    The second part of the claim is also very broad and vague, and I wonder what support you have for claiming that changes to certain labor practices would have “hugely positive effects” on employees and their families. I certainly can imagine some changes that would help employees, and even a few that would help their families, but this seems like a pretty broad claim without much science or fact to back it up. And how realistic are the changes you imagine?

    Finally, I remain amazed at the dismissive nature of the financial impact of the CVS decision. The blog you linked claims that CVS voluntarily surrendering about $2 billion in revenues is not a big deal because it still will make $133 billion. It makes me want to post a WTF am I reading? meme because, seriously, when did $2 billion become small potatoes? If CVS announced that it would close 114 of its profitable stores (1.5% of its 7600 total stores) because it thought they were contributing to the food-desert you describe, would the author claim it wasn’t a big deal either? Obviously, CVS believes that the long-term financial effects of this decision will offset the short-term costs, but dumping $2 billion in sure revenue (and sending a meaningful portion of its customers to its competitors) is the type of decision that gets many CEOs fired.

    I think you have made some good and valid points in your original post, and it is a good topic to explore. But I think you have gotten sidetracked regarding other frustrations you have with CVS, thus blurring together separate issues. Ultimately, I think you have failed to adequately support the claim you made at the outset of the first post: “The move is an excellent publicity stunt, but, in my view, not terribly meaningful in terms of helping people’s health.” I see it as meaningful, and it seems like there is science to back up that claim.

    I enjoy your contributions, and I hope you have a chance to explore some of the subjects you have raised in a longer, more focused format.

    1. It isn’t an outlandish, broad, or controversial statement to say that working-poor conditions, the type caused by the sorts of retail outlets among which CVS counts, cause adverse health outcomes. A Google search of “working poor health outcomes” yields many results supporting my statement:
      http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/herman/reports/futurework/conference/workingpoor/workingpoor_toc.htm
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_determinants_of_health_in_poverty
      http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Rising-Inequality-Declining-Health.pdf
      http://www.workingpoorfamilies.org/pdfs/policybrief-winter2011.pdf

      I included links to some of these in my original post and didn’t think I’d have to rehash them in a response-to-a-response post.

      As for the idea that CVS pulling tobacco will decrease tobacco use, the study you cite is about a ban on displays that applies to all stores, not just a single chain that accounts for part of a measly 4% of total US tobacco sales. That’s like forcing someone who has a single can of soda a day to recycle that can and claim that the environmental impact is significant. It simply isn’t significant.

      As for the other issues, it’s not “sidetracking” if you consider the big picture. Again, CVS accounts for some portion of just 4% of US tobacco sales. Even if we were to agree that not carrying cigarettes would somehow deter the statistically-small number of smokers who get their cigarettes from CVS, that would be a tiny fraction of a small fraction of smokers. Meanwhile, as the science shows, working poor conditions affect people’s health in a much more significant way, and CVS’s retail practices cause working poor conditions.

      1. I never said it was outlandish or even controversial to claim that poor working conditions can cause adverse health outcomes. In fact, I expressly agreed with that point. I asked you to back up your claim that CVS cold make changes that would make “hugely” positive changes. There’s a pretty big distinction that you seem to miss (and your citations don’t address). You dropped “hugely” from your comment, so perhaps we are arguing about semantics, and I doubt we disagree much. But I’m trying to be careful with my words, and I don’t think it is fair to strawman my argument.

        You are really reaching to avoid admitting you are wrong to that CVS’s decision won’t reduce the use of cigarettes. The study I linked showed that when people do not see a store front display of tobacco products, there is a significant reduction in their purchasing of those products (even though they are still available within the store). To ignore this fairly clear (and fairly intuitive) evidence, you try to focus on the fact that CVS is only a fraction of 4% of the market. So? The study shows that not having cigarettes on display reduces cigarette purchases. Full stop. Maybe its only a reduction on a faction of 4% of the market (minus its smoking customers go to Walgreens), but if there are fewer spontaneous cigarette purchases, there are fewer cigarettes smoked (especially on street corners waiting for buses and in break rooms, etc.). I mean, it is $1.5 billion in tobacco purchases, so it is probably well over 300,000,000 packs of cigarettes. Is that really nothing? In any event, what else can CVS do? Knock cigarettes out of the hands of people on the street? It has taken the biggest step that can be taken with respect to tobacco products.

        Worse, while you highlight the market share of CVS with respect to tobacco, you ignore their market share of employees. Why is it significant that CVS has < 4% of the tobacco market, but it isn't relevant that CVS employees < .01% of the labor force in this country (that . is not a typo)? Both are drops in the bucket.

        And again, "as the science shows, working poor conditions affect people’s health in a much more significant way [than cigarette smoking]." (1) No it doesn't. (2) Non-sequitur.

        You are raising meaningful issues, but you are not doing it in a very skeptical way as far as I can tell.

          1. I agree that it isn’t measuring individual habits, but to the extent that “spontaneous” cigarette purchases reflects fewer cigarettes in the hands of smokers, there is less smoking going on. Also, it seems that people are losing sight of the the facts that (1) these stores still had cigarettes to sell, so the notion that people were just waiting to go buy their cigarettes from a different store is not supported by the evidence and (2) that there was a 30% reduction in spontaneous purchases from ALL stores which means there is some significant reduction in overall cigarette purchases (smaller than 30%, though).

            And in any event, what is it that you expect CVS to do? Go around and knock cigarettes out of the hands of smokers. Is there any additional step that CVS could take with respect to tobacco that would make you applaud what they’ve done?

        1. “Why is it significant that CVS has < 4% of the tobacco market, but it isn't relevant that CVS employees < .01% of the labor force in this country (that . is not a typo)?"

          Because consumer patterns are easier to change than employment? If CVS doesn't sell smokes, I can get them at a fuckload of other stores, usually within 5-10 minutes distance even if I walk (and that's even true in food deserts). Despite what libertarians love to spout about jobs, it doesn't work like that for employment.

          1. That is a solid point, but you still are trying to rationalize what was plainly cherry-picked statistics. In both cases, CVS can only control its own cigarettes or its own employees. For one, Heina wants to completely dismiss the statistical insignificance of the complete elimination of a serious health risk from their stores, and in the other, she seems to pretend that ~ 80,000 jobs would make some huge difference in the lives of the working poor in the country. It is poor skepticism to choose one perspective for the first, and the opposite perspective for the second.

          2. boyofd, you’ve very effectively missed the point of my comment, which is that the 80000 people who work at CVS are affected by CVS employment policies because that’s where they work and will continue to work and cannot just randomly start working somewhere else with better practices, while smokers buying smokes at CVS will simply shift behavioral patterns and buy smokes elsewhere. This is not about The Working Poor. This is about poor people who work at CVS (and poor people who shop at CVS); changing their employment practices would actually change health outcomes for workers; changing their selling practices will only change where people buy smokes.

    2. “If CVS announced that it would close 114 of its profitable stores (1.5% of its 7600 total stores) because it thought they were contributing to the food-desert you describe…”

      I am deeply in awe of this statement. It reads like “if the soup kitchen closed, because it realized it underfed people and so contributed to their malnutrition…”, which is to say it reads ass-backwards.

      1. The excuse for closing the stores is made up and irrelevant (because it plainly a hypothetical that would never happen). I was just trying to pick some reason related to Heina’s criticisms. Sorry I chose poorly from your perspective. Do you want to address the merit of the claim or defend the notion that $2 billion is a meaningless loss for CVS, because that is the point being discussed?

  6. anyway, Orac’s analogy is all wrong. This isn’t like someone genuinely quitting smoking, but instantly getting criticized for something else; this is like those ppl I used to know as a kid who wanted to appear pious and so they’d loudly “give up” something for Lent that was seen as a big deal, but really, for them, it was just not. For example, social drinkers who’d brag about giving up alcohol for Lent. Well whoop-dee-doo, there are no drinking-holidays during Lent anyway, by design; but it’s very conveniently framed by two drinking-holidays.

  7. It plans to replace lost tobacco sales by selling anti-smoking aids like nicotine patches.

    First off they already sale NRT products and that line has a 98.7% failure rate and the NRT sales have lost Billions in the last few years as sales bottomed out.

    Next CVS has more stock owned by Johnson and Johnson aka FMR than anyone else. CVS hired the former CEO of J&J as a board member last year.
    J&J has the RWJF Robert Woods Johnson Foundation as its non-profit that pushes NRT sales thru its gambit of spin off non-profits and like tobacco free kids that push for smoking bans that create RENT SEEKING LEGISLATION across the globe. That same group basically wrote the FCTC world anti-tobacco treaty where nations were forced to sign on or lose world bank and IMF loans if they didn’t pass smoking bans!

    The ACS,ALA,AHA and all the rest of these non-profits and especially the Legacy foundation are all doing J&J bidding around the globe.

    RWJF gave 99 million to the ACS,ALA,AHA and myriads of others got grants to illegally lobby for smoking bans. The ACS runs the national quitlines earning it around 12 million a year pushing the NRT products of J&J. The ACS has spent million defending their smoking bans in courts across the nation and also being busted illegally obtaining petition signatures in Ohio in 2009-10.

  8. Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    nap.edu

    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”

    OSHA SAFE LEVELS

    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  9. This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  10. Let’s face it — someone at CVS did a market analysis and an economic analysis of the expected result of continuing to sell ciggies and cutting that business loose. There is an internal memo somewhere and there were meetings at the CVS corporate offices with relevant executives discussing the PR advantages and the economic fall out. I would bet dollars-to-donuts that someone argued that this would be a win-win situation. They will get good PR for voluntarily exiting what appears to be a profitable business, but they will free up shelf space for what will be just as profitable or more profitable. So, they expect to get a bump in customer traffic from the good PR, gain a reputation that they care about your health, and they will also sell other products in place of the wall of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco. Maybe what you will see on the same shelf space will have a higher profit margin, or have higher expected revenue generation than ciggies.

    You can be assured of one thing, though. CVS did this to maximize its value to its shareholders, and increase its revenues and profits. And, that’s what it’s supposed to do.

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