President Barack Obama released a statement of support for CVS Caremark officials who are taking a stand against tobacco.
The drugstore giant announced Wednesday morning that by Oct. 1, all locations will stop tobacco sales.
"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," Obama said in his release. "I congratulate—and thank—the CEO of CVS Caremark, Larry Merlo, the board of directors, and all who helped make a choice that will have a profoundly positive impact on the health of our country."
Helena Foulkes, CVS president, spoke out against the sale of tobacco in her company's stores to USA Today.
"Selling tobacco is very inconsistent with being in that business," she is quoted as saying in USA Today. "We really thought about this decision as it relates to the future as a health company—it's good for customers and our company in the long run."
Foulkes went on to say that CVS has more than 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners and wants to develop as an alternative to doctor's offices.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death, with more than 8 million deaths per year projected by 2030.
For more facts on smoking, visit the CDC website.