CVS, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, has stopped selling tobacco products as of Sept. 2, nearly a month sooner than planned. CVS said earlier this year that it would stop selling tobacco products on Oct. 1, a move that was even endorsed by President Obama.
The drugstore will also tweak its corporate name in an effort to sharpen its focus on customer health. CVS Caremark will now be known as CVS Health. The signs on its roughly 7,700 drugstores will stay the same, so the change may not register with shoppers until the checkout line.
The cigars and cigarettes that used to fill the shelves behind store cash registers have been replaced with nicotine gum and other products that help people kick the tobacco habit.
“CVS is really trying very hard to position themselves as the winner in that marketplace,” Skip Snow, a health care analyst at Forrester Research told The New York Times. “If they can be perceived as a place to go to receive health care, and buy health care products, as opposed to the place to go to buy a bottle of whiskey or get your film developed, then they can capture more of the retail medicine dollars.”
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