CVS To Pull All Tobacco Products Off Shelves By October

Come this Fall, you will no longer be able to buy cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco at CVS.

On Wednesday, CVS Caremark said it will pull all tobacco off the shelves by October. The company says it's trying to lean more toward healthcare and feels it's the right decision to no longer sell tobacco products.

CVS owns some 7,600 stores across the country and hundreds here in North Carolina.

A pharmacist who works at Family Care Pharmacy across from Onslow Memorial Hospital says they don't sell tobacco products because it just doesn't make sense to sell them at a pharmacy.

Amy King says, "Everyone has their own choices and rights. Obviously everything in moderation is going to be your best choice. If we can encourage people not to smoke that is a great idea, since we're treating a lot of elderly patients who have smoked all their lives."

The second largest drugstore chain in America agrees.

CVS Caremark Corp. and other major drugstore chains have been adding clinics to their stores for several years. Their pharmacists deliver flu shots and other immunizations, and their clinics also have been expanding the care they deliver.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo says the company decided it can no longer sell cigarettes at places where it also provides health care.

The move will cost the Woonsocket, R.I., company about $2 billion in annual revenue. But CVS executives expect it to also help the health care business grow.