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News :: Retired Vinton businessman recalls ending cigarette era in Vinton pharmacy
· 12:32pm February 6th, 2014
A national pharmacy chain, CVS, has been in the news this week, after announcing that it has decided to stop selling tobacco products.
That puts the company approximately 30 years behind Vinton's local pharmacies.
For decades, most drug stores had sold tobacco products. But after mounting evidence linking smoking to cancer and other ailments, and the first Surgeon General's smoking warning in the 1960s, pharmacy operators began re-thinking their product lines.
"Like CVS, we could not sell health in the rear of the pharmacy and death in the front," said Bob LaGrange, who made the decision to remove tobacco from LaGrange Pharmacy about 30 years ago.
"I have never regretted this and hope other pharmacies follow CVS in getting rid of this poison. Both pharmacies in Vinton sold tobacco then," said Bob.
Des Moines Register and Cedar Rapids Gazette opinion writers praised Bob for his decision to remove tobacco from the LaGrange Pharmacy in Vinton.
"We received mixed questions about removing tobacco from the pharmacy," said Bob.
The response, he said, was "mostly good, including being mentioned in Donald Kaul’s column in the Register and one in the Gazette."
"In the old days we sold paint, wallpaper , animal health drugs, and also ran a food operation from 1948 to 1970," recalls Bob, whose son, Mike now runs the business.
Also, says Bob: There is little profit in tobacco, so CVS should do OK.
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