On January 1st, 2020, the company will end the sale of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and snuff.

You may experience one of 3 reactions to this news. You may react by saying, "Well then, I'd better stock up now." Or, your thought could be "Great news! I hope the other grocery outlets do the same thing!" Then again, you may be saying "Who cares? As long as I have my trusty vape and/or e-cigarettes, I'll be just fine!"

Yeah...about that vape and e-cigarette thing...have you been watching how that's been going? Not a good long-term outlook, based on the number of states implementing bans of one sort or another.

Anyhoo...back to Schnucks and their decision to halt sales of tobacco products.

The company will sell through its existing inventory through the end of the year. Starting on October 15th and continuing indefinitely, Schnucks will offer double Schnucks Rewards points on all over-the counter smoking cessation products. The incentive is an effort to support the estimated 68 percent of smokers who say they want to quit tobacco. The company will also continue its practice of not selling e-cigarettes or vaping products.

From the Schnucks website:

“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 customers and that makes it the right decision for our company.”

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 United States die due to smoking-related illnesses, including more than 100 deaths per day that are a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.

“Unlike many other products, there is simply no moderate amount of tobacco use that is not harmful,” Schnuck added.

Schnucks' announcement comes as the company says it is increasing its focus on wellness and promoting healthier choices that create healthier generations.