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CVS Will No Longer Sell Tobacco Products

It was announced early Wednesday morning that CVS Caremark Corp will not sell tobacco products in its 7,600 stores by the month of October, according to Reuters. CVS will become the first drugstore chain in the country to remove cigarettes from its shelves.

“I think it will put pressure on other retailers who want to be in healthcare,” said CVS Caremark Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troyen Brennan.

Other retailers stopped selling cigarettes quite some time ago, including Target in 1996 and Wegmans Food Markets in 2008.

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CVS noted that the move to stop selling cigarettes will not put a dent in the company’s profits. The company noted that it would lose some $2 billion in annual sales to go along with 6 and 9 cents of profit per share in 2014.

The move to stop selling cigarettes comes not long after the company bolstered its position in the market of healthcare.

In December, CVS said that it was expecting its pharmacy benefit manager revenues to increase anywhere from 7.25 percent and 8.5 percent for 2014. This growth, if it occurs, would outpace the growth of the retail business, which sits between 2 and 3.25 percent.

Officials at CVS said that lost sales from the removal of tobacco products will be made up by selling smoking cessation products at its pharmacies. The pharmacies will also offer more programs to its Caremark members.

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