CVS to stop selling cigarettes, other tobacco products
CVS Caremark Corp. announced Wednesday it will stop selling tobacco products at each of its more than 7,600 locations by October 2014.
"Tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered," said President and CEO Larry Merlo in a public statement.
CVS is not the first major retailer to ban the sale of cigarettes. For instance, Target dropped its cigarette sales in 1996.
However, the company's announcement caused a stir nationwide on Wednesday. President Barack Obama, a former smoker, praised the company's decision in a statement.
"Today's decision will help advance my administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer and heart disease, as well as bring down healthcare costs – ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come," Obama said.
The move comes at a price to CVS. The company estimates it will lose $1.5 billion in revenue from tobacco sales, in addition to $500 billion lost from other sales made by tobacco shoppers. CVS reported $94 billion in total revenue through the first three quarters of 2013.
CVS opened its Mount Pleasant location at 1306 S. Mission St. last year.