CVS To Pull Tobacco Products Off Shelves - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

CVS To Pull Tobacco Products Off Shelves

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WMDT 47 NEWS - CVS Caremark is pulling tobacco products off of it's shelves. The nation's second-largest drugstore chain says it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by October 1. The retailer says it will focus more on healthcare at its more than 7,600 drugstores nationwide.

CVS Caremark Corp. and other major drugstore chains have been adding clinics to their stores for several years. Their pharmacists deliver flu shots and other immunizations, and their clinics also have been expanding the care they deliver.
 
CVS CEO Larry Merlo says the company decided it can no longer sell cigarettes at places where it also provides healthcare.
 
The move will cost the company about $2 billion in annual revenue. But CVS executives expect it to also help the healthcare business grow.

President Barack Obama is praising CVS Caremark for its decision. He says CVS is setting a "powerful example," and says the decision will help his administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths and disease and bring down health care costs. Obama is a former cigarette smoker. First lady Michelle Obama said in 2011 that her husband had finally kicked the habit.

Obama, in a statement released Wednesday by the White House, says CVS new policy "will have a profoundly positive impact on the health of our country."

Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius says, "The Department of Health and Human Services applauds CVS Caremark Corp. for their leadership in helping to make the next generation tobacco-free . . . Last month, I called on all sectors of the United States – from businesses to local and state governments to the faith community – to join in the Obama Administration's sustained effort to make the next generation tobacco-free. Smoking takes an enormous toll on our friends, families and communities.  As we know from the recently released 50th Anniversary Surgeon General Report on smoking and health, nearly 500,000 Americans die early each year due to smoking, and smoking costs us $289 billion annually. Each day, more than 3,200 youth under age 18 in the United States try their first cigarette and more than 700 kids under age 18 become daily smokers. If we fail to reverse course, 5.6 million American children alive today will die prematurely due to smoking. This is unacceptable.

We need an all-hands-on-deck effort to take tobacco products out of the hands of America's young generation, and to help those who are addicted to quit. Today's CVS Caremark announcement helps bring our country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation. I hope others will follow their lead in this important new step to curtail tobacco use."

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