MIAMI (CBSMiami) -The next time you go to a CVS store, you’ll notice a big change behind the register.
Tobacco products are no longer for sale at the company’s 7,700 retail locations.READ MORE: ‘My Heart Dropped’: Parkland Woman Teams Up With Neighbors To Rescue Rabbit Found With Dart In Its Face
The move comes about a month ahead of schedule for the pharmacy giant.
“We see ourselves as a healthcare company,” said CVS Health Chief Medical Officer Troy Brennan. “So selling a product in our stores that was actually causing people health problems really doesn’t make any sense.”
While stores have gone cold-turkey, CVS executives know it’s not quite as easy for smokers to kick the habit.
They’re offering resources to help.
“Today is really exciting because we’re launching what we think is the largest smoking cessation program that’s ever been launched,” CVS/pharmacy President Helena Foulkes said.
Stores are now stocked with information with quitting tips.
Some customers at the CVS on NW 41st St. in Doral think it’s a good idea.READ MORE: Weston Residents Concerned After Coyotes Spotted Roaming Neighborhoods
“People shouldn’t smoke anyway. It’s so expensive and bad for you,” Eric Perez said.
But others said people will just buy their cigarettes elsewhere.
“My friends who smoke may be frustrated, but they can just go to a gas station instead,” Kevin Coleman explained.
The company said cigarette sales account for less 2% of its total annual revenue.
Wednesday also marked the official name change for CVS corporate, from CVS Corporate to CVS Health, signaling a shift from focusing on retail to health care, a potentially more lucrative industry.
“It really reflects our purpose as a company,” CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo said. “Helping people on their path to better health. When you think about the people that we serve, health is everything.
Florida Surgeon General John H. Armstrong released the following statement about the changes: “I am encouraged to see the commitment to health and wellness shown by CVS Health in its decision to remove tobacco products from their stores a month early. With more than 700 locations in Florida, CVS has seized an opportunity to improve health in our communities. I challenge other retailers to take this important step toward long-term health for our state.”
In case you’re wondering, the signs outside local stores will continue to say CVS/pharmacy. It’s just the overall corporate name that’s changed to CVS Health.MORE NEWS: ‘We Share The Frustration With The World’: Police Chief Takes Aim At Missing Florida Woman Gabby Petito’s Fiancé, Who Isn’t Speaking
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