Rhode Island based CVS-Caremark announced Wednesday that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores starting this year. CVS said it is the first national chain to make this move.
The goal is to have cigarettes and other tobacco products off the shelves at its more than 7,600 stores by October 1st. CVS-Caremark’s CEO calls selling tobacco inconsistent with the store’s purpose.
CVS plans to launch a smoking cessation program in the spring, offering information on how to quit and treatment at its pharmacies.
The company expects to lose about $2 billion in revenues from the tobacco shopper, but said it has found ways to make up some of the revenue loss.
CVS executives have scheduled a call with the media at 10 am Wednesday to deliver more details.
Tobacco Free RI applauds the move, saying in a released statement that the organization is proud that a Rhode Island company is setting an example for other large pharmacy chains.
“This decision makes good sense, because pharmacies are where people go for medicine and health care advice. It is illogical and counter-productive to health that pharmacies also sell cigarettes — items that, when used exactly as directed, kill more than 400,000 Americans every year,”
Tobacco Free RI Director Karina Holyoak Wood said 17 percent of adults and 11 percent of high school students in Rhode Island are smokers.
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