Feb. 5 - CVS to become first major U.S. pharmacy chain to stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores by October. Linda So reports.
CVS is snuffing out cigarettes. The pharmacy chain announced it will stop selling tobacco products at its 7,600 stores by October, making it the first major U.S. drugstore to pull cigarettes from its shelves. SOUNDBITE: CVS CAREMARK PRESIDENT LARRY MERLO, SAYING: "We've come to the conclusion that tobacco, in a setting where health care is being administered, those two just don't go together." Public health advocates hope the move will encourage other major retailers to follow suit. The drugstore plans to launch smoking cessation programs at its stores nationwide. SOUNDBITE: CVS PHARMACY PRESIDENT HELENA FOULKES, SAYING: "It really will be quite comprehensive in terms of providing services at all 7,600 of our pharmacies, our Minute Clinics, and also bringing online tools to our customers." The company says it will lose about $2 billion in annual sales when it stops selling cigarettes. President Obama, a former smoker, is praising CVS' decision to call it quits.