- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on other drug stores to follow CVS’s lead and stop selling tobacco products.

The Connecticut Democrat and members of the Mobilize Against Tobacco for Connecticut’s Health Coalition are set to gather at a CVS in Hartford on Monday to urge all drug stores to sacrifice some profits but help save lives. He says smoking kills 480,000 Americans each year and cost the nation more than $289 billion from 2009 to 2012 in health care costs.

CVS Caremark Corp. announced last week that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores by Oct. 1.

CVS Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo said the company concluded it could no longer sell cigarettes in a setting where health care also is being delivered.