Tobacco sales under ‘real scrutiny’ as drugstore chain steps up health-care focus

Sadye Matula

Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Roz Brewer said the drugstore is having a tricky search at the merchandise it sells as it techniques up its health and fitness-treatment concentrate. “Tobacco is just one of those people areas that is beneath true scrutiny right now,” she explained in a CNBC job interview. “And […]

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Roz Brewer said the drugstore is having a tricky search at the merchandise it sells as it techniques up its health and fitness-treatment concentrate.
  • “Tobacco is just one of those people areas that is beneath true scrutiny right now,” she explained in a CNBC job interview. “And so you are going to see much more to come in that spot.”
  • Its rival CVS Overall health stopped promoting cigarettes and other tobacco solutions in 2014.



a sign above a store: A person enters a Walgreens store in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.


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A human being enters a Walgreens shop in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Roz Brewer mentioned the drugstore is getting a hard glance at regardless of whether it will continue to promote cigarettes and tobacco items as it actions up its emphasis on health treatment.

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“We are contemplating about what is up coming in our outlets,” she claimed in an job interview with CNBC’s Bertha Coombs that aired Thursday. “And how do we actually challenge a nutritious-for-you profile when you enter our suppliers? Tobacco is one particular of all those locations that is underneath actual scrutiny ideal now. And so you are going to see additional to arrive in that place.”

Walgreens defeat Wall Street’s anticipations on Thursday for fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, as it received a raise from Covid-19 vaccinations. Sales in the a few-month period of time mirrored the energy of health and fitness and wellness-associated products, this sort of as at-property Covid exams, natural vitamins and in excess of-the-counter drugs for cough, chilly and flu.

Similar retail sales rose 6.2{9de171ac33798fde3a622e76ef171e611288570f03f7c8486a1f69f819b8175a} in the fourth quarter as opposed with the yr-ago period of time. That increased to 7.2{9de171ac33798fde3a622e76ef171e611288570f03f7c8486a1f69f819b8175a} when the company excluded gross sales of tobacco and e-cigarettes.

For a long time, Walgreens has been underneath scrutiny from some traders and community health and fitness officials for selling the products and solutions. Walgreens has scaled again tobacco-linked merchandise, this sort of as stopping revenue of e-cigarettes. It also raised the tobacco buying age to 21 in 2019 following the Foods and Drug Administration alleged that the drugstore chain was offering to minors.

Nevertheless its main competitor presently took tobacco off shelves. CVS Wellness stopped offering cigarettes and relevant products in 2014, stating it did not align with the company’s overall health-treatment mission.

The Fda has taken a tougher stance on e-cigarettes, amid fears that vaping is primary to a rise in tobacco use amid teenagers — primarily with flavors like sweet, fruit and mint. Early this 7 days, it accredited an e-cigarette brand name for sale in the U.S., stating it could gain some adult people who smoke who swap products and solutions. Having said that, it did not approve some of the firm’s flavored products and solutions.

Walgreens CEO on earnings, Covid-19 vaccines and supply chain troubles

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