Published: Sep 03, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 04, 2014 10:34 AM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- If you want to buy a pack of cigarettes at CVS, you'll have to look elsewhere. The chain is no longer selling tobacco products in an effort to keep you healthier.
 
CVS is quitting tobacco for good.  A wall at a Fort Myers store that used to be filled with cigarettes and cigars now sells a message. One that's meant to make you stop smoking. Or at least, start thinking about it.

Tobacco user Richard Hill says he doesn't mind going elsewhere.

"I don't really see necessarily a fault in their decision making due to to the fact that tobacco products are still easily attainable," Hill said.

CVS, which has about 7700 stores nationwide, announced Wednesday it's no longer selling tobacco products, and is the first major pharmacy chain to do so.

"One of the things we are really hoping is that with this announcement we will be able to really impact the number of people who smoke," said CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes.

Dr. Mary Bonnette specializes in helping people quit smoking. She sees CVS's decision as a step toward snuffing out tobacco use for good. "It seems that their focus is now on helping people become more healthy," Dr. Bonnette said.

While it may not deter everyone, this message of health is out in the open.


CVS estimates it could lose up to 2 billion dollars in annual sales. Its main competition in southwest Florida, Walgreens, has no plans to stop selling tobacco products.