The huge drugstore chain says it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1 as it continues to focus on health care. CVS and other major drugstore chains have been adding clinics to their stores for several years. Their pharmacists deliver flu shots and other immunizations and basic services.
CVS CEO Larry Merlo says the company decided it can no longer sell cigarettes at places where it also provides health care.
“The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health,” Merlo said in a statement.
The move will cost the company about $2 billion in annual revenue, the Associated Press reports. However, CVS executives said they expect it to also help the health care business grow.
CVS has more than 7,000 locations, including two in Reston — one at South Lakes Village Center and one at Plaza America. A third will soon open on the ground floor of The Avant apartments at Reston Town Center.
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Photo of CVS store with a Minute Clinic courtesy of CVS.
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