CVS Caremark announced today that it will stop selling all tobacco products at its more than 7,600 locations by Oct. 1 of this year. It is the first major national pharmacy chain to discontinue selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.
"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," said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark. "Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose."
The company also announced that it will launch a smoking cessation program to coincide with the pulling of tobacco from its shelves. Details were not given on what that program would include, but the company said in a press release that it will "include information and treatment on smoking cessation" and will offer "additional comprehensive programs for CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management plan members to help them to quit smoking."
The global tobacco market saw revenues of $805 billion in 2012, according to a report from MarketLine.