CVS stores to end the sale of tobacco products

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By Samuel Richter

For those looking to buy a pack of Marlboro 27 cigarettes when they pick up their next drug prescription at their local CVS, they will soon be facing a new reality.

The large pharmaceutical chain announced that as of Oct. 1, 2014, their stores will no longer sell cigarettes and tobacco products.

The company believes that selling cigarettes defeats the purpose of their stores, which operate so that people can be healthy.

President and CEO of CVS Caremark Larry J. Merlo said in a statement, “Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/Pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

This decision shines a new light on the company, as many will see this as a responsible decision and support the  chain.

However, the company is  expected to lose over $2 billion in profits annually.

Ever since December 2013, the CVS stock prices have constantly decreased, currently standing at a price of $66.39. The drop in price from its high  of $72.40 in December could be due to this decision, which was announced earlier this week.

It is clear that profits from the stop of sales of these products will decrease immediate revenue for investors and CEOs, but the store’s new outlook on the health crisis in America may be able to promote the image of the pharmacy in a way that encourages Americans to shop at their local CVS stores more often.

This decision was not taken lightly by the company.

“We have been evaluating this product category for some time to balance the choices our customers expect from us with their ongoing health needs,” Walgreens spokesman Jim Graham said in a statement.

“We will continue to evaluate the choice of products our customers want, while also helping to educate them and providing smoking-cessation products and alternatives that help to reduce the demand for tobacco products.”

Whether or not CVS’s profits will increase or decrease in the long run due to this decision  is still unclear, but hopefully this decision will help create a more health conscious community and benefit national healthcare.

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