The move by the nation's second largest pharmacy chain means a $2 billion loss in annual revenue.
Here’s the huge personal finance news of the day: CVS, the nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain, announced it will no longer sell cigarettes or tobacco products of any kind. That seems like a big blow to Big Tobacco.
The announcement has gotten plenty of public reaction. President Obama, a former smoker himself, even praised the decision in a Twitter post. That in turn churned up plenty of pro and con tweets, plus questions about the ban and CVS’ motivation.
The move “reflects a major push by retail pharmacies away from simply dispensing drugs toward a more integrated role of providing basic health services to Americans,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
But that doesn’t mean other major pharmacy chains will do the same, at least not yet. Walgreens said evaluating its sale of tobacco products is an ongoing thing, CNN reports. Rite Aid apparently has no current plans to stop selling tobacco either.
Meanwhile, CNN says, Dollar General and Family Dollar have begun selling cigarettes.
Still, CVS’ move is huge. “It is a big deal — one of those death knell events the tobacco industry has feared for some time,” Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science and trends at the American Cancer Society, told USA Today.
What are the specifics? Here’s what CVS says:
- Sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products will stop Oct. 1.
- The ban will be in place at all of the more than 7,600 CVS U.S. locations.
- In the spring the company will launch “a robust national smoking cessation program.”
- The company estimates it will lose about $2 billion in revenue a year because of the ban.
CVS reportedly does not sell e-cigarettes.
What do you think about CVS’ move to ban tobacco products from its stores? Tell us below or on our Facebook page.
Karen Datko contributed to this article.