Following on the decision announced a few weeks ago by Wegmans, California’s Andronico’s Markets announced last week that it will stop selling tobacco products by the beginning of February.
- KC's View:
It was fascinating to see the range of responses MNB got when the Wegmans story broke, and I suspect that this will continue with the Andronico’s announcement.
It is perfectly understandable when people say that 1) tobacco is legal, and 2) stores should sell what people want to buy. Some will say that supermarkets sell plenty of products that can hurt you, and why should tobacco be singled out?
That said, I wholeheartedly agree with both Wegmans’ and Andronico’s decision. (To be sure, I have a bias – my mother, a two-pack-a-day smoker for 40 years, died of lung cancer. So I have no love for the tobacco companies.) But I also think that as stores try to make the connection to health and wellness in a more overt way, it becomes harder and harder top justify selling products that are designed to addict you and, ultimately, kill you.
And that’s the real difference between tobacco and, say, trans fats. The latter may not be good for you if you consume too many of them, but they aren’t essentially addictive and lethal.
I think that as time goes on, we’re going to see more stores lining up behind Wegmans and Andronico’s, companies that one day will be celebrated for taking this step.