CVS plans to quit selling cigarettes

SOUTHFIELD (WXYZ) - As the first national pharmacy chain to quit selling tobacco products, CVS is clearly betting on a bigger future in the health care business.

News that sales would stop by October 1st drew a mixed reaction from shoppers in Southfield.

"That's wonderful," said shopper Victoria Smith. "You shouldn't be smoking anyway.   It's bad for your health."

One smoker, at least, was not thrilled and questioned why the chain would continue selling beer and wine.

"I don't think it was a good idea because it was convenient for me and was probably convenient for a lot of people as they pick up other items they pick up their cigarettes," said Dorothy Vandergrift.   "I think if they are going to serve alcohol that surprises me."

A nearby party store owner claimed to be inspired.

"I think it's a courageous and I really like it," said Wisam Zora, owner Oakland Liquor & Party Shoppe.  

Wisam Zora says if other drug stores follow suit, he may too at his party store.

"I have a liquor store here and I think I could stand without selling cigarettes," said Zora.   "I don't know about other businesses.  Personally, if I have to take this move I don't mind taking it."

There is no word yet from other pharmacy chains about following CVS's lead.

Outside a Rite-Aid, one customer was not so sure.

"I really think it's really a big profit item," said Rite-Aid shopper Lynne Parsons.  "So they can make up their own minds about it.  It doesn't matter to me.  I'm sure cigarette smokers will find some where else to buy cigarettes."

CVS might be taking a bite out of its competitors in another way.

The company says it will also launch a nationwide effort to help people quit smoking.

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