CVS Pharmacy to Stop Selling Cigarettes

In an effort to become more of a health-care provider, CVS Pharmacy will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products nationwide, as early as October 2014.

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Although the move is bold and will be expensive for CVS, the drugstore chain is dedicated to moving in a direction that provides basic health services to the millions of newly insured Americans, amid a shortage of primary care doctors. CVS is certain that this strategy will give it an edge over competing pharmacies as they develop important relationships with hospitals, insurers and physician groups.

CVS believes its future lies in creating convenient in-store clinics as an alternative to long waits at primary care doctors’ offices.

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Not only is the news a blow to the struggling $100 billion tobacco industry, but it will also put major pressure on Walgreen, Rite Aid Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to consider following suit.

The unprecedented move by CVS has drawn positive attention from the White House and other government officials. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the CVS move “an unprecedented step in the retail industry.”

Please read the article by Timothy W. Martin and Mike Esterl in its entirety here.

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