CVS announced Wednesday, Sept. 3 that it would stop selling tobacco, effective immediately, a month sooner than planned. The drugstore chain also announced that it has changed its name to CVS Health to reflect a shift in the focus of the business.
“We’re doing more and more to extend the front lines of health care,” CVS CEO Larry Merlo said.
Customers may not notice the name change, as signs will remain the same in all CVS stores, but they may notice a change during checkout. Once stocked with cigarettes, shelves located behind cashiers will now be stocked with nicotine gum and signs encouraging customers to quick smoking.
Merlo said that the drugstore chain expects to lose approximately $2 billion in revenue annually due to the stop of tobacco sales, but that it believes it can compensate for the loss through growth in health care.
In fact, CVS shares have increased about 22 percent, to $80.56, after the tobacco announcement.
Photo Credit: Andrew Renneisen/The New York Times
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