CVS officially pulls tobacco from shelves

New anti-tobacco campaign draws mixed reactions

SAN ANTONIO – It's official: Starting Wednesday, CVS pharmacies will no longer sell tobacco products.

CVS knows cutting tobacco products might cut some business but company leaders say selling them goes against their mission of health care.

"How are they going to compete with Walgreens?" asked smoker Sandy Garcia.

She used to buy her cigarettes at CVS, and said she's disappointed.

"I don't think that's very wise because they're supposed to be a chain store and you want to go in there and get whatever you want, so I would think a tobacco product would be one of them," she said.

However, many people support CVS' decision.

Julia Wilkins said she thinks the company should even take it a step further.

"Not selling tobacco is a good thing, but alcohol is still a problem too," she said. "So if you're not going to stop the alcohol, why stop the cigarettes? If you're going to go all health, cut everything out."

She said she's also thrilled to hear about the new CVS program to help people quit smoking altogether.

"That's a good idea. That's a good thing. (It's) a start," Wilkins said.

The program will offer various types of support -- even coaching.

Since about 2010, smaller pharmacies and companies have cut tobacco products, but CVS is the first big company to do it, and they're hoping others will follow suit.

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