Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, stated “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. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”
Health organizations around the country as well as president Barack Obama “praised the move.” In his statement on Wednesday Obama said, “As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and 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.”
CVS has also announced on Wednesday their plan to launch a national smoking-cessation program in the spring, which will provide information and treatment at CVS/pharmacy and Minute Clinic locations as well as online.
Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary, said in a statement, “Today’s CVS Caremark announcement helps bring our country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation. I hope others will follow their lead.”
Robin Koval, President and CEO of Legacy, a research and health organization said, “It’s obviously a landmark decision and one that I hope wakes up the entire retail industry that it’s the right thing to do.”