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CVS Stopping Sale Of Tobacco

CVS announced it will no longer sell cigarettes. The drugstore plans to phase out every tobacco product by the fall.
CVS announced it will no longer sell cigarettes. The drugstore plans to phase out every tobacco product by the fall. 

In New York alone, there are 2.4 million smokers. In the U.S. that number is right around 43 million people. The majority of people we talked to are smokers and they say by putting an end to cigarette sales, they could make a step in the direction of quitting. Anthony Tellier has been smoking cigarettes every day for 15 years. When he heard that the nation's second largest drugstore is calling it quits with tobacco products, it gave him hope.

"I have a nine-month-old son. It's more of a reason to quit. I would hate to be one of those 500,000 that does now or 20 years from now. The fact that CVS cares that much shows a lot people should open up their eyes and realize [with] life you only get one shot and smoking isn't the best way to go about it," he said.

By October 1st, CVS will no longer carry cigarettes at nearly 7,600 stores. It was a move that Wegmans made back in 2008. But will it help smokers cut back?

"No because I'll get them at a gas station; but CVS does have a good prices so its either the gas station or CVS," Elizabeth Gibson said.

Geoffrey Williams, professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, disagrees. He says CVS is a big company with an even bigger message. 

"I think that it's going to be good for them in the long run trying to move into the health area. It's such a conflict for them to be selling a product that kills half of its users 14 years before those that don't use it," he said.

Officials at the American Cancer Society says CVS' cigarette ban will help people choose to either stop smoking or never start. It is also key for the younger generation. 

"I like to think this is action for younger Americans. they wont be used to seeing these in stores to be able to get products. This is going to be harder," Ann Savastano said.

Tellier hopes more companies will follow suit.

"This could potentially save lives," he said.

CVS will lose nearly $2 billion a year since they will not be selling tobacco. But local smokers say this statement shows the company is more invested in people's health than bringing in more money. 
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