Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Walgreens CEO Rose Brewer: Tobacco sales are under “real control” as the pharmacy network increases its focus on health.

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A man walks into a Walgreens store in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

David Paul Morris | | Getty Images

Rose Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said the pharmacy is focusing on health care, whether or not it continues to sell cigarettes and tobacco products.

“We’re thinking about what’s going to happen in our stores,” he said in an interview with Bertha Combs on Thursday. “When you walk into our stores, how do we design a healthy profile? Tobacco is one of the areas that’s really under control right now. So you’ll see more in that area.”

The Walgreens outperformed expectations of Wall Street’s quarterly earnings on Thursday as it rose from the Covid-19 vaccines. The quarterly sales reflected the strength of health and wellness-related products, such as Covid tests at home, vitamins and cough, cold and flu medications.

Comparable retail sales in the fourth quarter increased by 6.2% compared to the same period last year. Excluding the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes, the company saw an increase of 7.2%.

For many years, Walgreens was controlled by some investors and health professionals to sell its products. Walgreens has stopped selling tobacco-related products, such as e-cigarettes. He also raised the age to buy tobacco in 2019 to 21 years after the Food and Drug Administration claimed the pharmacy chain was selling it to minors.

But his main competitor removed the tobacco from the shelves. CVS Health stopped selling cigarettes and related products in 2014 because it was not in line with the company’s health mission.

The FDA has taken a tougher line on e-cigarettes because vape leads to an increase in tobacco consumption among teens, especially with flavors like candies, fruit and mint. Earlier this week, the U.S. approved the sale of an e-cigarette brand, which is beneficial for smokers replacing the product. However, he did not confirm the company’s fragrant products.

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