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CVS Now Tobacco-Free and Rebranded

Chain now called CVS Health, as it eliminates all tobacco ahead of schedule.
September 3, 2014

​WOONSOCKET, R.I. – As of yesterday, the CVS drugstore chain had officially stopped selling tobacco products in all of its roughly 7,700 stores nationwide, about a month ahead of schedule.

Last February, the company announced its intention to end tobacco sales by October 1, but the accelerated schedule illustrates the chain’s urgency to better position itself as a true health brand. To signal that shift, the company has renamed itself CVS Health.

According to some reports, the changing health-care landscape means that more companies are going to be able to compete for more customers in the health-care space on a retail level, and CVS is trying to get ahead of that wave.

By giving up tobacco, CVS is losing about $2 billion in annual sales, but expects to make up that difference over time with a greater emphasis on health services, from filling prescriptions at its pharmacies and providing basic health care at its walk-in clinic, to a new smoking cessation program.

CVS's primary competitors in the pharmacy and clinic spaces, Walmart and Walgreen Co., currently have no plans to stop selling tobacco products.