- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hoping to better reflect its mission, the CVS Caremark Corporation said Wednesday it is changing its name to “CVS Health” and has ended tobacco sales nearly a month before its target date of Oct. 1.

The company made waves in February, when it announced it would no longer sell cigarettes or other tobacco products at its 7,700 stores nationwide.

“Along with the start of CVS Health, the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy ends today,” company President and CEO Larry J. Merlo said. “By eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from sale in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans.”

The company cited studies that showed eliminating tobacco sales at retailers in Boston and San Francisco had resulted in a significant decrease in smoking rates.

A photo posted in the New York Times website displays an enormous sign reading, “Let’s Quit Together,” in place of the section behind the register counter where cigarettes were once sold at a CVS in Manhattan.

The company also started a social media campaign, #OneGoodReason, that lets people share how tobacco use affected their lives.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said CVS “is setting a powerful example that we hope others in the industry will follow.”

CVS’s actions will not only help Americans across the country who are trying to quit smoking, it will also help ensure that when families go to their neighborhood pharmacy, they can get the information and support they need to live healthy lives, which can contribute to driving down health care costs,” he said.