CVS Caremark plans to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products


POSTED: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 6:21pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 9:31am

CVS Caremark is now the first national pharmacy chain that will knock cigarettes and tobacco products off their shelves once October 1st rolls around.

The pharmacy estimates it will take an annual loss of $2 billion from tobacco sales, but doctors stress that it's hard to put a price tag on promoting better health.

"For somebody to put one of their profit centers at risk like that and just take it away and be willing to do so, they've realized that the better thing is to have healthy, and so it's gonna be interesting to see how it plays out," said Dr. Robert Martinez, Chief Medical Officer at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.

Dr. Martinez says that while he encourages people to seek a healthier lifestyle and stop smoking, he also realizes the addiction to smoking makes it extremely challenging.

"It's probably the hardest thing for people to stop doing.  Things that come close is probably things like heroin, I mean it's right up there with something like that which is obviously a very dangerous drug, so it's bad. It's very very hard.

The discontinued sale of cigarettes and tobacco products won't take full effect until later this year.  Right now, it's already igniting frustration for smokers.

Doctors, on the other hand, hope that cvs's bold move will convince people to take that first step in quitting smoking.

"Hopefully this will aim to really get people thinking about making it harder for them to get those cigarettes and so they can find some other healthy to pick up," Dr. Marinez explained.  "Certainly, I think it's gonna go a long way."

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