The widely known corner store and pharmacy CVS announce on their website today that they will end the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products by Oct. 1, 2014.
CVS operates 7,600 stores and wants to stop selling the products because "[It] is simply the right thing to do for the good of our customers and our company." said President and CEO Larry Merlo.
"The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health."
This makes CVS/pharmacy the first chain of national pharmacies to take tobacco products off the shelves.
According to the company, CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy in the United States based on total prescription revenue.
Health-oriented organizations and President Barack Obama praised the move.
"As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today's decision will help advance my administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs -- ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come," Obama said in a statement Wednesday.
"This is an important, bold public health decision by a major retail pharmacy to act on the long understood reality that blending providing health care and providing cigarettes just doesn't match," said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society.
"We need an all-hands-on-deck effort to take tobacco products out of the hands of America's young generation, and to help those who are addicted to quit," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "Today's CVS Caremark announcement helps bring our country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation. I hope others will follow their lead."
It's unclear if other similar businesses such as Walgreens will follow the same trend.