CVS Caremark announced Wednesday that it will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products at all of its stores beginning this fall.
By Oct. 1, CVS will no longer sell tobacco products in any of its 7,600 stores nationwide.
The Rhode Island-based national pharmacy chain is the first to take such action.
“By removing tobacco products from our retail shelves, we will better serve our patients, clients and health care providers while positioning CVS Caremark for future growth as a health care company,” CVS Caremark President and CEO Larry Merlo said in a statement. “Cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered. This is the right thing to do.”
Merlo said CVS also plans to launch a national cessation program this spring to help the seven in10 smokers who say they want to quit.
The move heralded comment from health professionals and national leaders.