FREEPORT, Maine — On the 50th anniversary of the U.S. surgeon general’s landmark 1964 announcement about the health risks associated with smoking cigarettes, Bow Street Market on Saturday stopped selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The store’s owners said the decision to discontinue tobacco sales is part of the company’s commitment to health.
Nearly three years after expanding into a new building three times the size of the old store, Bow Street Market owner Adam Nappi said, “When we made the move from the new Bow to the old Bow, we really wanted to take a healthy direction.”
When Nappi realized that Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the report that eventually resulted in safety warnings on cigarette packages, he chose that day to announce the change on the store’s Facebook page.
“We are committed to our community and will no longer sell cigarettes or tobacco products!” the post reads.
Nappi said Monday that in discontinuing all tobacco, he will lose profits in the “tens of thousands — likely up into the [hundreds of thousands of dollars annually].”
But after making the store a “smoke-free campus” and prohibiting employees from smoking on the grounds, he said, it was time to complete the healthy mission.
Since the announcement, some customers have suggested that the store stop selling products with high-fructose corn syrup or genetically modified organisms. While Nappi isn’t quite ready to make those changes, he said, he’s confident the removal of tobacco products from Bow Street Market was the right move. And the majority of his customers, he said, have also been “very, very positive.”