Schnuck Markets announced beginning Jan. 1, 2020, the company will end the sale of tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and snuff.
The company will sell through its existing inventory through the end of the year. Starting on Oct. 15 and continuing indefinitely, Schnucks will offer double Schnuck Rewards points on all over-the-counter smoking cessation products. The incentive is an effort to support the estimated 68 percent of smokers who want to quit tobacco. The company will also continue its practice of not selling e-cigarettes or vaping products.
“Tobacco products are certainly a profitable part of our business, but our company’s mission is to nourish people’s lives,” said Schnucks Chairman & CEO Todd Schnuck. “Tobacco products directly contradict our core mission and that means that they simply don’t belong in our stores. We respect people’s right to make decisions that are best for them, and while we know this may not sit well with everyone, we believe it’s the right thing to do for the health of our communities, and our consumers and that makes it the right decision for our company,” he said.
According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the world. CDC statistics show that each day more than 1,300 people in the US die due to smoking related illnesses including more than 100 deaths per day that are a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
“Tobacco is poised to take 1 billion lives worldwide this century, so Schnucks’ decision to no longer sell tobacco is a victory for public health, corporate responsibility and consumers,” said Gary Ready CEO of the American Cancer Society. “Schnucks has historically been a great partner to American Cancer Society and this action shows that they, like us, are truly committed to fighting cancer from every angle. There remains an urgent needs for all of us to do more,” he said.
Schnucks’ announcement comes as the company is increasing its focus on wellness and promoting healthier choices that create healthier generations. During the past year, the company has:
- Created a partnership with gyms to encourage increased physical activity and partnered with food suppliers to highlight simple swaps to make mealtime healthier.
- Partnered with Pink Ribbon Girls, a nonprofit that delivers healthy, free meals and other services to women who are newly diagnosed with breast and gynecological cancers.
- Launched its Schnucks Healthy Kids Field Trip program at 69 stores, which focuses on teaching kids important life skills that will help them develop healthier habits.
- Introduced a wellness guide within its Schnucks Rewards app allowing consumers to view nutritional information and labels, as well as attributes such as heart smart, gluten-free, high protein and organic.
In addition to these initiatives and the commitment to no longer sell tobacco products, Schnucks will be announcing additional health and wellness initiatives in the coming months and throughout 2020.