Texas health groups are applauding CVS Caremark, for making the decision to stop selling cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other tobacco products at their 7,000 stores nationwide, 1200 WOAI News reports.
"Frankly, I think they have hit the nail on the head," Jay Arnold, who is with Smoke Free Texas. " To be an organization driven towards wellness, and then selling a program that we all know is bad for you."
The Texas Medical Association also applauded the move.
"Texas physicians are thrilled by CVS Caremark's decision today to stop selling cigarettes," TMA President Dr. Stephen Brotherton said. "Tobacco is directly responsible for the deaths of 24,000 Texans each year, more than homicide, HIV, suicide, influenza, accidents and diabetes, combined. We physicians we see the short and long term consequences of tobacco for our patients and their families. Make no mistake about it, tobacco is harmful."
Dr. Brotherton challenged Walgreens and the other big drugstore chains in Texas to follow CVS Caremark's example and stop selling tobacco products.
"I imagine some of their competitors are happy to see them exit the market, but I think this will have some impact on consumption," Arnold said.
CVS Caremark says tobacco is a $1 billion a year business in their operations.