By Dean L. Jones

Today, the CVS/Caremark Corporation ceased to sell all tobacco products.  At the same time this company claimed a new name, CVS Health, to reflect its broader health care commitment and desire to help Americans.  Definitely this is a good move, however it sounds debatable that a company would stop carrying any product bringing in $2 billion annually.

Follow the money, as in this case, ceasing to carry cigarettes now means the company qualifies as a clinic under the implementation of the Affordable Care Act that will attract much higher billions of dollars annually.  Plus, the sales of cigarettes is no where what it used to be in the United States as fewer people smoke today than in the mid-20th century.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1965, 42% of the population smoked, compared with 19% today.

Another thing about this gesture to quit selling cigarettes is how cigarette smoking causes roughly 480,000 deaths each year in the United States stemming from cancer, stroke, heart and lung diseases.  But on the other hand, one out of every three Americans is now considered to be obese leading to over 120,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States.  Similarly, diabetes shows 293,122 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.  So right behind smoking cigarettes, overweight and diabetes account for more than 413,000 preventable deaths each year.

Since over-eating sugary-filled foodstuff is what gets most people to be overweight and/or contract diabetes, it makes processed sugar as dangerous as smoking tobacco products.  Hence, when CVS decided to cease selling tobacco products for the betterment of customer health, removing processed sugar or alcohol products from their stores should be just as much as part of the decision.  But that did not happen at all, where sugary items and alcohol remain big CVS product lines, and like its competitors, has no intentions stopping to sell.

Consequently, over indulging in processed sugary items is basically as bad as, if not worse than smoking cigarettes.  I know this is hard to digest (no pun intended), but the truth is that sugary sodas, candies, cereals, sport and fruit drinks, and the like are detrimental to anyone’s health, and retailers will never cease selling such products for the betterment of mankind.

The message is clear that when a major corporation ceases to sell products, you can rest assure that improving customer’s health conditions is not the primary reason.  All decisions lead back to profitability, which means that consumers should look at discontinuing bad things in their respective lives to increase healthy profitability.  Smoking cigarettes is old and has literally been milked to death by big business.  Now is the time to get in front of the sugar related diseases and consider removing it from personal use, and thereby becoming futuristically SugarAlert!

Dean Jones, Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on health attributes derived from processed foodstuff items.