CVS Dropping Tobacco Products By October - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

CVS Dropping Tobacco Products By October

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Have you been picking your cigarettes at the pharmacy? One store says not anymore. 

CVS Pharmacy has 7,600 stores nationwide that are no longer going to be carrying any tobacco products, starting this fall.

"I think it'll be defiantly a big change for them." says Dylan Shimell who works at Cenex attached to Brady's Service Center in Moorhead.

He and others think cigarettes and tobacco are going to be a pricey loss for the store.

"In a C-store setting the number one customer is the smoker," says Brady Olson the owner of the Brady's Service Center, "because they purchase more items, the get fuel, they try to do it all in one stop."

Convenience stores near any CVS are looking forward to the tobacco sales coming their way, especially Minnesota businesses after taking a hit from increased sales tax on cigarettes.

"Cigarettes a while ago used to be a few bucks, and I'm sure everyone thought that once they went up to like $6-$7 a pack that they'd stop smoking, but now they are up to $8-$9 a pack here and people are still smoking." Dylan says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 19% of our population today smokes. Many people Valley News Teams Kristi Larson talked with said that they think if people are addicted to cigarettes, they are going to find a way to get them.

But some people praise the first retail chain to take tobacco off the shelves.

"When it comes to something as bad as cigarettes for people, I mean it doesn't only hurt the people who smoke, it hurts the people that don't smoke also." says Adam Desrosier.

CVS says they will loose about $2 billion from sales of tobacco, and another $1.5 billion from other purchases those smokers make while in the store.

That loss is what other convenience stores are hoping to gain, as many think the change in stores won't change many people.

"They are going to decide for themselves what they want, and they are going to buy it, and just by you not selling it doesn't stop that." Brady says with a shrug. 

CVS officials say they will have all tobacco products off their shelves by October 1st of this year.

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