Man, there's nothing easier to do than criticize, right? Anything and everything can be picked apart, and is. It's a particularly popular sport in this age of ERR BUDDY HAS A BLOG OR TWITTER. But today, I am (virtually) standing and delivering the SLOW CLAP OF ADMIRATION to (gasp!) a large retail chain store for acting with (double gasp!) integrity.

  1. 1.
    the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
    "he is known to be a man of integrity"
    synonyms:honestyprobityrectitudehonor, good character, principle(s), ethics,morals, righteousnessmoralityvirtuedecency,
    fairness,scrupulousness, sinceritytruthfulness, trustworthiness 
  2. 2.
    the state of being whole and undivided.
    "upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty"
Pharmacy giant CVS announced today that as of October 1, 2014, they will no longer sell tobacco products at any of their 7600 stores throughout the United States. In this age of ever-increasing income skew and corporate profiteering with absolutely no concern for human fallout, this is an astonishing choice to make. I will remind you that smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, and in a new report from the Surgeon General last month, has been linked to a much broader range of horrible illnesses than previously thought. The wretched misery smoking brings to families, the staggering burdens it places on our health care system and economy, is unfathomable. These are facts. 

Pharmacies like CVS as well as many grocery chains have been steadily increasing their roles as health care providers -- millions of people are able to pop in and get a flu shot, check their blood pressure, or find out with a Rapid Strep test if that sore throat needs antibiotics or not. It's often far more convenient than trying to set up a doctor's appointment -- you can go in when you want, on your schedule, as you need, and that is a really good thing. CVS expects that by removing cigarettes, chew, etc. from their shelves, they will incur losses of about TWO BILLION DOLLARS per year. They have plans to rebuild the lost tobacco-sales income by broadening their partnerships with health care organizations, something that could not be accomplished while continuing to sell tobacco products, and will soon launch a major smoking-cessation program nationwide.

Are there other things that CVS sells in their stores that aren't healthy? Yes, nit-pickers, but it would be hard to claim that cigarettes weren't the worst of the offenders. By making the choice to generate corporate income not from a product that is a certain cause of human suffering, but from partnerships that encourage and facilitate wellness, CVS has acted with integrity. I encourage you to locate your local CVS by clicking right HEREreward them for making a brave step by giving them your consumer dollars, and support their decision to take a brighter path.