One month before CVS announced it planned to remove tobacco products from its shelves, the company has begun to do so.
Now, cigars and cigarettes are being replaced with nicotine gum and other products to help smokers quit.
CVS, the second largest drug store in the U.S., has been taking steps to increase its credibility as a health care provider, with its in-store Minute Clinics and partnering with dozens of local health care systems, among other measures.
With CVS ending sale of tobacco products ahead of it’s planned schedule, Florida’s State Surgeon General, Dr. John Armstrong, issued the following statement:
“I am encouraged to see the commitment to health and wellness shown by CVS Health in its decision to remove tobacco products from their stores a month early. With more than 700 locations in Florida, CVS has seized an opportunity to improve health in our communities. I challenge other retailers to take this important step toward long term health for our state.”
Pulling cigarettes and other tobacco products is expected to cost CVS $2 billion a year in lost sales. Nonetheless, analysts say, the company will realize more than $2 billion in “reputational capital and kudos.”