CVS Caremark plans to stop selling tobacco products


by Michelle Arnold

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 5 at 6:49 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- No more cigarettes, no more chewing tobacco, soon it will all be gone. CVS is kicking a habit to help its customers kick a habit. The goal is to provide better health care for consumers.

Some people are for it and some are against it.

"The mission of helping people be healed so it's consistent with that belief," supporter Rose Howard said.

"I think they should still sell them to have them available to people," shopper Harrison Brenner said.

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, CVS Caremark announced it's phasing out all tobacco products by Oct.1 at their 7,600 stores across the nation.

CEO Larry Merlo said, "We've come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered."

"It's habit forming. Nicotine is habit forming and it's good news to hear that CVS is not selling it," Howard said.

Some former smokers are on board too. President Barack Obama released a statement on Feb. 5 offering his support stating, "As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example and today's decision will help advance my administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease."

It is certainly a stand. CVS is the nation's second largest drugstore chain. It's forecasted it will lose $2 billion in annual revenue.

"It will be less convenient for people and I just think they'll lose a lot of business. A lot more than they would imagine," Brenner said.

"[The decision] is difficult because I'm sure that they make money off of it. We are happy to support CVS," shopper Serra Goethals said.