CVS will cease tobacco sales in October

Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores across the U.S. by October 1, 2014. CVS/pharmacy will be the first national pharmacy chain to take this step.

CVS will also launch a national smoking cessation program this spring, expected to include information and treatment on smoking cessation at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic along with online resources. The program will be available broadly across all CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations and will offer additional comprehensive programs for CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management plan members to help them to quit smoking.

CVS management estimates it will lose around $2 billion in annual revenues from lost tobacco sales, including around $1.5 billion in tobacco sales and $500 million in sales of other products to tobacco customers. This represents around 17 cents per share and $0.06 to $0.09 in earnings per share.

"Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health," said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO, CVS Caremark.  "Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose."