COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- "Tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered," said CVS President and CEO, Larry Merlo.
And that's why CVS said it's ending the sale of tobacco this fall to promote healthier living. Even though the chain predicts it will lose two billion dollars in sales a year, public relations expert Cyndee Woolley tells WINK News long term this is a good move.
"I think ultimately they're going to gain customers and they're going to gain loyalty from the increasing health conscious consumer," said Woolley.
Even former smoker say the decision is smart.
"It's just bad and I think it ought to be hard to get cigarettes."
"I think it's a great move on their part, it's probably a good P.R. thing for them too."
"I'm all for it and I wish other stores would do that too."
WINK News checked with Walgreens, a top competitor for CVS to see if they're thinking about doing the same thing. In a statement to us, the company said they will "continue to evaluate the choice of products their customers want while also helping to educate them."
"You're looking for healthy stuff there so it doesn't make sense."
Woolley said the decision by CVS helps the chain carry out their brand even more.
"Their end vision is about health and by limiting smoking they're making a clear decision to go towards that vision of health."
Other big changes you'll see in CVS, the company said it will sell more products to help you quit smoking and train its pharmacists to counsel and advise people about how to kick the habit.
WINK News got a statement from Tobacco Free Florida about the changes at CVS - it's congratulating the company and hopes other stores follow suit.