CVS Caremark to pull tobacco products from shelves - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

CVS Caremark to pull tobacco products from shelves

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It is a $2 billion decision from one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the country. It is a $2 billion decision from one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the country.
Fewer Americans are smoking, down to just 18% of adults today compared to 42% in 1965. Fewer Americans are smoking, down to just 18% of adults today compared to 42% in 1965.
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - You may have seen a new CVS Pharmacy built in Cape Girardeau at the corner of Kingshighway and William Streets.

If you walk in today, cigarettes line the wall behind the register. But that will soon be a thing of the past.

"Today CVS Caremark is announcing a significant step to promote better health with our decision to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products in our stores by October 1 of this year," CVS Caremark President/CEO Larry Merlo said in a video announcement.

A $2 billion decision from one of the biggest pharmacy chains in the country.

CVS announces it will no longer carry tobacco products in any of its 7,600 stores nationwide

"When we asked ourselves where we expect to be in the future as a healthcare company, it became clear that removing tobacco products from our stores is the right thing to do," said Merlo.

It may sound like a lot of money to lose, but CVS says selling healthy living is much more profitable.

Here's why. Fewer Americans are smoking, down to just 18% of adults today compared to 42% in 1965.

And some local businesses have adopted non-smoking policies as a result like Beef O' Brady's in Cape.

"It helps our business astronomically," said manager Luke Madden. "Most of the people that sit down at the bar say they come here just because it's non-smoking. So it works out great."

Even though Dale Rodgers uses tobacco, he supports the decision by CVS and says he will continue to shop there.

"I mean I go there regardless," said Rodgers. "People are going to make their own choice in life anyway. Regardless of if they buy it there or somewhere else."

This spring the company is expected to roll out a program to help smokers quit.

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