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US: CVS ends sale of tobacco products

Date: 5 Feb 2014

Stubbed out cigarettes

Drug store giant CVS has announced that it will no longer sell tobacco at its pharmacies by October this year. Cigarettes currently represent 3% of the company's overall sales, but the company said it had concluded that selling tobacco was incompatible with the company's purpose of promoting wellness.

The move was welcomed by President Obama, who said CVS Caremark was setting a powerful example. The initiative by CVS, which runs 7,600 pharmacies across the US, is expected to be followed by others.

Tobacco manufacturers professed themselves to be relaxed about the move, saying that they did not believe the move away from selling tobacco by pharmacy chains would reduce total sales of their products. From CVS's perspective, however, it expects to lose $2bn in sales per year.

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