Twitter users’ reaction to a chain pharmacy’s decision to end tobacco sales
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Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, USA
Submission date: 2015-01-15
Acceptance date: 2015-10-20
Publication date: 2015-11-04
Corresponding author
Patricia A. McDaniel   

Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Ste. 455, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2015;13(November):36
Reducing the number of tobacco outlets may help reduce smoking uptake and use; public support for such action is essential. We explored how Twitter users responded to the announcement by US pharmacy chain CVS that it was voluntarily ending tobacco sales.

We used Twitter’s application programming interface to retrieve tweets and retweets posted over an 8-day period in February 2014 that contained two trending CVS-related hashtags (#cvs and #cvsquits). We manually coded 6,257 tweets as positive, negative, or neutral.

The majority of tweets were positive (56.0 %) or neutral (39.4 %).

There was little disapproval of CVS’s decision to end tobacco sales among Twitter users, possibly due to the voluntary nature of the decision. The level of support suggests that CVS’s image and bottom line will not suffer as a result. Further voluntary actions to end tobacco sales – which may lay the groundwork for legislation -- should be incentivized and supported.

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