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CVS becomes first major US drugstore to stop selling cigarettes

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, but you won't get them at CVS. On Wednesday, the drugstore announced it will stop selling all tobacco products by October of this year.

No smoking sign

This makes the chain the first drugstore company in the U.S. to remove cigarettes from its shelves.

CVS believes the decision will strengthen its position as a healthcare provider.

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

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids feels CVS's announcement could drive momentum for declining tobacco use.

The move was also applauded by President Obama, who said CVS could set a powerful example for other drugstores.

The president said in a statement, "Today’s decision will help advance my Administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs – ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come."

The American Lung Association says, currently 18 percent of Americans still smoke and the habit is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 people each year.

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