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CVS Announces: No More Tobacco Products

Update Date: Feb 05, 2014 09:36 AM EST

By the beginning of October this year, the popular drug store chain, CVS Caremark will no longer carry any tobacco products. The company announced on Wednesday that all 7,600 CVS stores would stop selling tobacco, making it the first ever national drugstore chain within the United States to ban tobacco products.

"Selling tobacco is very inconsistent with being in that business," said Helena Foulkes, CVS's president reported by USA Today. "We really thought about this decision as it relates to the future as a health company - it's good for customers and our company, in the long run. Any form of tobacco use makes those chronic conditions more difficult to deal with. This is good for business and the right thing to do."

According to CVS, tobacco products bring in around $1.5 billion a year but the company can expect to lose around $2 billion a year. Due to the company's stance on health and wellness, selling tobacco no longer seemed to fit in with the revised image. Instead of earning money from tobacco, the company believes that its future will be in medical care. CVS plans on becoming a cheaper, faster and still effective alternative for people seeking medical care for nonemergency complications, such as the common cold. With 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners, CVS hopes that customers will use this new program to get medical advice and counseling, such as maintaining type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

"Today's decision will help advance my Administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down healthcare costs," President Barack Obama stated according to Reuters.

CVS is the nation's second largest drugstore chain. This decision could affect other large and small drugstore corporations. However, as of right now, the country's largest pharmacy chain, Walgreens, has decided to continue selling tobacco products. The third largest chain, Rite Aid, has yet to comment.

Even through the statistics reveal that the percentage of adult smokers has fallen, more work still needs to be done in order to reduce that percentage even more. Smoking is the number one leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.

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