CVS has the distinction of not only being a place to pick up medicine and toiletries, but also a one-stop shop for tobacco products. Coming this October, however, you'll have to head somewhere else for your smoking needs according to a statement from the company.
Larry Merlo, president and CEO for CVS Caremark, issued a video statement regarding the ban of tobacco sales across 7,600 CVS stores nationwide. Stating that CVS needs to take an active role in reducing the skyrocketing costs of healthcare and promoting better health overall, Merlo added that his stores are the first pharmacy chains to ban tobacco. The online announcement has more.
From the announcement:
By removing tobacco products from our retail shelves, we will better serve our patients, clients and health care providers while positioning CVS Caremark for future growth as a health care company. Cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered. This is the right thing to do.
Also on the page were graphics that detailed the impact of tobacco use from the offices of the U.S. Surgeon General. Over 480,000 people die year from tobacco year, and nine out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking. The ban of tobacco sales takes place this October 1, and will cost the company around $2 billion per year according to some estimates.
The CVS move has been met with approval from President Barack Obama and others.