CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – One of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains decided to stop selling cigarettes as of today.
Starting this week, smokers will have to buy their cigarettes someplace other than CVS Pharmacy. The Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain stopped all tobacco sales Wednesday, nearly a month ahead of their October 1st target date.
“I think cigarettes, in general, you shouldn’t smoke them. It’s a health risk,” said Catiria Berrios of Chicopee.
With a goal of minimizing the health risks of smoking, CVS kicked off a campaign to help millions of Americans to quit smoking.
CVS is hoping that by stopping the sale of cigarettes, more Americans will kick the habit.
“Truthfully, I mean, people are going to smoke, regardless. If you buy it, here, at CVS or go somewhere else. If you stop it here, they’re going to go across the street to the gas station. I mean, they ‘re going to go to the grocery store – they’re going to buy it somewhere else,” said Heather Rodriguez of Chicopee.
A CVS study in San Franscico and Boston showed that making tobacco harder to buy, reduced tobacco purchases by 13-percent.
The medical community has long warned of the dangers of smoking. “It is the number one cause of every single health problem adults have. If there weren’t any smokers, I wouldn’t have a job and we wouldn’t have a health care crisis,” said Dr. Rose Ganim, a thoracic surgeon at Baystate Medical Center.
CVS is hoping to do its part to lessen that crisis. CVS, which changed it’s name to CVS Health, is the first and only national pharmacy chain to stop the sale of all tobacco products.