CVS ending sales of tobacco products later this year

By KBJR News 1

February 5, 2014 Updated Feb 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM CST

(NNCNOW.com) --- One of the nation's largest pharmacies has announced it will stop selling tobacco products in its stores.

CVS Caremark, which will end sales on October 1st, says selling cigarettes side-by-side with medicine undermines the company's mission to promote good health.

The announcement comes as the journal of the American Medical Association releases an article on ending tobacco sales in pharmacies.

The Food and Drug Administration also just released new anti-smoking commercials targeting teenagers who light up, hoping to emphasize tobacco's effect on appearance such as wrinkled skin and damaged and yellowed teeth.

CVS expects to lose about $2 billion in revenues annually from sales of tobacco in its 7,600 stores around the country.

Spokespeople with the American Lung Association say they hope to see other stores follow suit.

"It is an opportunity for Walgreen's, and Wal-Mart and other stores to follow that lead, including other locally owned pharmacies," says Jill Doberstein of the American Lung Association. "I think bigger than that, it's an opportunity for the community to talk about how and where these products are sold."

President Obama applauded the company's move and hopes it begins a national campaign to help millions of Americans to quit smoking.

According to health officials, despite huge reductions over the past 50 years, about 18% of American, or 42 million people, still smoke.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns
kburns@kbjr.com