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CVS Pharmacy Stores to Stop Selling Cigarettes + Tobacco Products

CVS Pharmacy President Larry J. Merlo
CVSPharmacyVideos via YouTube

In an unprecedented move, CVS Pharmacy announced it will no longer carry tobacco products or cigarettes in its more than 7,600 stores, including those right here in East Texas. The company made the announcement Wednesday morning, saying by Oct. 1, they’ll no longer sell the products. This marks the first major national retail chain to pull these products off of their shelves.

The president of the company, Larry J. Merlo, said:

Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

When the products are finally removed from the shelves, company executives realize they’ll be losing nearly $2 billion in revenue, but they feel this is the best move for their company as they are in the health care/health needs business.

By not selling cigarettes and tobacco products, they encourage better health for their customers. They also took into account that sales in this category have been on the decline for years, saying cigarette smoking has declined from a high of 42% of Americans in 1965 to around only 18% today.

President Obama and others have come out in support of this move by a major retailer. Other retailers may follow suit in the future. As for CVS’s major competitor Walgreens, a spokesperson for that company says they’re constantly evaluating the needs from their customers.

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