CVS has decided cigarettes and health care don’t belong in the same setting. The drugstore chain’s move to stop selling tobacco by October will sacrifice billions in revenue and will almost certainly be used by antismoking groups to pressure other major retailers to fall in line.
In Las Vegas, the antismoking movement is an uphill battle. Walking into any store on the Strip and not being able to buy cigarettes is practically unfathomable, and the recent proliferation of big drugstores on the Strip—there are now two CVS locations—proves that convenience is an essential ingredient.
Healthy behavior, not so much: Nevada leads the nation in secondhand smoke exposure, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends making casinos 100 percent smoke-free. ¶ For now, the Strip is the capital of the universe for people who “only smoke when I’m drinking.” When that’s not the case, then we’ll know attitudes about smoking have truly shifted.