CVS quits tobacco for good

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Vince Lombardi once said, "Winners never quit and quitters never win." Well, if good health is the ultimate prize, then CVS may be a big winner. Starting October 1, smokers will have to get their tobacco from somewhere other than CVS. Today, CVS Caremark announced that they would be stopping all sales of cigarettes and tobacco products in their stores. According to CVS, this move will cause them to lose about $2 billion in sales per year.

Despite losing what is estimated to be roughly 1.6% of their annual revenue, CVS is confident in their decision to do away with tobacco sales. “As the delivery of healthcare evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role in providing care,” Larry J. Merlo, the president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

In addition to doing away with tobacco sales, CVS also plans to launch a smoking-cessation program in the spring. The program will include treatment and support literature both online and in print, available at CVS locations across the nation. As a means to support this program, nicotine gum and patches will remain available.

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