Larry Merlo, the company's CEO, says, "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."
CVS/pharmacy will be the "first national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers," according to Merlo.
As expected, this will be a huge profit hit for the chain. "The company estimates that it will lose approximately $2 billion in revenues on an annual basis from the tobacco shopper.
CVS Caremark has identified incremental opportunities that are expected to offset the profitability impact. This decision more closely aligns the company with its patients, clients and health care providers to improve health outcomes while controlling costs and positions the company for continued growth," admitted the company spokespeople.
The move will affect their more than 7,600 stores across the U.S.