Walgreens Taking Another Look at Tobacco


Walgreens could be ditching tobacco products for good, according to a recent comment made by Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Roz Brewer. The move could come as Walgreens continues to shift its business model and focus to health care.

Last week, Walgreens’ fourth quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectations, mostly driven by COVID-19 vaccinations. In the past quarter, Walgreens saw an increase in sales of wellness-related products including vitamins, over-the-counter medications and at-home COVID tests. Compared with last year’s fourth quarter, retail sales rose 6.2 percent. That number increased to 7.2 percent when Walgreens excluded the sales of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Now the company is once again taking a look at the role tobacco plays in its business going forward.

In an interview with CNBC’s Bertha Coombs, Brewer made the following statement: “We are thinking about what’s next in our stores. And how do we really project a healthy-for-you profile when you enter our stores? Tobacco is one of those areas that’s under real scrutiny right now. And so you’ll see more to come in that area.”