CVS quits selling cigarettes

CVS/pharmacy (NYSE: CVS) will stop selling cigarettes and all tobacco products at all stores nationwide by October 1, 2014.

The retailer has been adding clinics and expanding pharmacy services. Quitting selling tobacco products goes hand in hand with the chain's growing role as a health care provider. "Tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered," said Larry Merlo, president and CEO. "Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is simply the right thing to do for the good of our customers and our company."

CVS/pharmacy plans to launch a smoking cessation program this Spring, said Merlo. It is the first national drug chain to stop selling tobacco products. Walgreens (NYSE: WAG), it's largest competitor sells cigarettes as does Walmart (NYSE: WMT). Family Dollar (NYSE: CVS) began selling tobacco in recent years as buyers of these products make more frequent trips to stores, but Target does not sell tobacco products.   

For more:
-See this ABC News story
-See this statement from CVS/pharmacy

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