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CVS pharmacies end tobacco sales

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

Should pharmacies be in the cigarette business?

For CVS Caremark - and its 7600 stores - the answer is "no."

No more tobacco sales as off October.

The American Cancer Society's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Otis Brawley - says he hopes the CVS decision is a tipping point. Brawley says, "It's been a total irony, you go to the United States pharmacies - by the way in Europe and Asia they don't allow pharmacies to sell tobacco - and you very frequently see right new to the druggist, who is giving medications to people to heal them, you see tobacco."

The same tobacco, Dr. Brawley says, that is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and cancer, that will kill one out of every two smokers early.

CVS will lose about two billion dollars a year in sales, but that's just a small part of the company's overall profits.

On the FOX 5 Atlanta Facebook page, the CVS decision triggered thousands of "likes" and hundreds of comments.

Jennifer Young posts, "I quit smoking a little over 3 months ago, I use CVS pharmacy so I am glad they stopped selling them. Less temptation for me. "

But others questioned CVS' motives, including Jack Santoro, who writes, "If CVS is so concerned with only selling "healthy" products, then why not stop selling soft drinks, candy, donuts, beer, wine, the list goes on. My bet, is that tobacco products just weren't "profitable" enough..."

So, will other drugstore chains will follow CVS' lead? Dr. Brawley is optimistic He says, "I'm hoping this courageous decision by CVS will actually create a domino effect, where you're going to see the other drugstores saying, you know, it's is hypocritical to sell cigarettes and then claim to be there to protect the health of you customers."

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