CVS to Stop Selling Tobacco Products Come October 1st
Written by Lindsey Watson
Last updated on February 05, 2014 @ 5:51PM
Created on February 05, 2014 @ 5:49PM
Want to pick up a pack of cigarettes with your prescription refill? Well a major pharmacy chain is breaking that habit.
In a big announcement Wednesday, CVS Caremark announced it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in stores by October 1st.
The nation's second-largest drugstore chain said Wednesday that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by October 1st, a move that will cost about the company about $2 billion dollars. Like other major drugstore chains, CVS has been adding clinics to their stores and expanding their health care focus for several years now.
"I think that we need to restrict tobacco availability to make sure that people are healthy, and I don't think that a health store chain has any business selling tobacco products," said Craig Stewart.
Its for that reason that CEO Larry Merlo said in a statement that he and other CVS leaders have “...come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered." said Merlo
The company's tobacco plan also drew praise from President Barack Obama, who said in a statement that he applauded the news.
"As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today's decision will help advance my Administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs..." said President Obama.
"It's their choice, their policy. If they feel that they should stop selling it because their a health care provider then they should," said Kenneth Guiseppe.
"It's their store, their choice. I personally don't use tobacco, and try to help the people around me that do," said Clarissa Nicholson.
But some still question the impact that this move will have on consumers.
"I can kinda understand where their coming from if their supposed to be a health care store, then yeah by all rights get rid of the cigarettes, but get rid of everything else too that's not healthy," said Wendy Davis.
"Its always going to be split. If you a smoker you're obviously going to have that opinion of oh I want another cigarette, and if you're not a smoker you're just going to be all for it," said Colton Silcott.
According to financial experts, on its own, this CVS move won't hurt cigarette companies that much. Drugstores overall account for only 4% of cigarettes sold, which seems to pale in comparison to gas stations, which generate nearly half of those sales.
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