In case you haven’t heard, CVS/pharmacy will stop selling all tobacco products by Oct. 1.

The country’s second-largest pharmacy chain – more 7,600 stores across the U.S. – made the decision even though it will cost the company $2 billion annually in tobacco and related sales, according to CBS News.

“Tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered,” Larry Merlo, CVS president and chief executive officer, said in a video announcement. “Removing tobacco products from our stores is the right thing to do.”

CVS is the first national pharmacy chain to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products. The nation’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreens, is still mulling the sale of tobacco at its stores, according to the CBS News article.

Drugstores, however, account for only about 4 percent of cigarettes sold in the U.S., whereas nearly half of sales come from gas stations, according to the CBS article.

In addition to removing tobacco products from its shelves, CVS will launch a “robust smoking cessation program” this spring, Merlo said.

“The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health,” Merlo said.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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