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CVS Caremark, the nation's second-ranked drug chain, announced this morning that by October 1, it will stop selling all cigarettes and tobacco products.

The decision will affect all of the company's more than 7,000 stores, and will cost the company an estimated $2 billion in annual revenue.

CVS is the first national drug chain to make such a decision.

“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, president/CEO, said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”
KC's View:
This is a huge move by CVS, and, I think, the right one. You cannot be in the health and wellness business and sell products that are designed to addict and kill you, and that have been proven to have such a heinous impact on people's health and wellness.

It'll be interesting to see if this creates pressure on other chains to do the same. But even if they do, CVS gets credit for doing the absolute right thing. It may cost $2 billion in blood money, but the long-term benefits to the brand, I think, could be incalculable.

We'll have more on this tomorrow, I'm sure….