CVS to Stop Selling Tobacco Products

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    CVS has announced that it will phase out tobacco products by Oct. 1.

    CVS announced Wednesday that its pharmacies will stop selling tobacco products.

    By Oct. 1, the chain will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco. It's a move that has some Connecticut residents fuming.

    "I disagree with it. People have a right to smoke," said Donna Brannick of Newington, who has been buying cigarettes at her local pharmacy. "I come here every day for cigarettes so they're definitely going to lose my money."

    CVS said this move will cost them money – $2 billion, in fact, because of lost cigarette sales.

    "I don't think it's a good business decision because they will lose money," said Juliana Teles, another Newington resident. "Sometimes people come just to buy a cigarette or tobacco and they buy something else too."

    The company has set an Oct. 1 deadline to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products at its 7600 stores nationwide. The pharmacy giant said this decision positions them as a major player in the health care industry.

    "There are other drug stores that sell them so if they really want to smoke they'll find another convenience store to go so I don't think it'll be an issue," said Tony Scelazar of Newington.

    CVS said tobacco should not be sold where pharmacists and nurses work every day to help patients get well.

    A spokesperson said the move also won't hurt cigarette companies much, as drugstores account for only 4 percent of cigarettes sold.

    "I think in the long run less and less people are going to smoke as the years go on so I think it's a move you'll see most pharmacies going toward in the future," said Scelazar.

    Walgreens issued a statement saying it's also evaluating the possibility of making such a change.

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal applauded the decision as did the American Cancer Society.