CVS Caremark will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores across the U.S. by Oct. 1, making CVS/pharmacy the first national pharmacy chain to take this step.
“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 Merlo, president and chief executive officer of CVS Caremark. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose,” he said.
Mr. Merlo said CVS will undertake a robust national smoking cessation program this spring. The program is expected to include information and treatment on smoking cessation at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic along with online resources.
The company estimates that it will lose approximately $2 billion in revenues on an annual basis from the tobacco shopper. CVS has identified incremental opportunities that are expected to offset the profitability impact.