Obama Releases Statement Applauding CVS On Its Decision To Stop Selling Cigarettes

President Barack Obama, the nation’s most high-profile former cigarette smoker, applauded on Wednesday CVS Caremark’s decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.

In a statement, Obama said the move would help decrease health-care costs and save lives. Here’s his full statement:

“I applaud this morning’s news that CVS Caremark has decided to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores, and begin a national campaign to help millions of Americans quit smoking instead. 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 — ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come. 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.”

CVS Caremark said it would lose about $US2 billion in annual revenues from the loss of tobacco sales and sales of other items to tobacco-buying customers.

Obama has said he has kicked his smoking habit over the past few years. Last year, he was caught on a hot mic at the United Nations General Assembly meeting joking that he was able to quit “because I’m scared of my wife.”

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