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Expert: CVS change about "brand"

Rochester, N.Y.The decision to quit selling cigarettes and other tobacco products was simple for CVS/Caremark.

Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health, said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Caremark.

The company estimates a loss in revenue of nearly $2 billion. Why forfeit such a hefty sum?

Though some business experts say there is another, perhaps deeper reason for doing this.

I think this is all about building their brand, said Gerry Wedig, Associate Professor of Business Administration with the Simon Business School.

Maybe short term they are going to lose money, said Wedig. In the long term what they are going to do, hopefully is sell more on the health care side and they are sort of weighing this.

That doesnt mean the loss of one retail option will be convenient for its customers.

Its disappointing because its the persons choice if they want to smoke or not, said Justin Helm of Greece. I just think it should be the persons choice if they want to buy them or not.

A total of 16 percent of Monroe County residents smoke cigarettes, according to a 2012 Monroe County Adult Health Survey.

Smoke and tobacco affects every organ in the body negatively, said Geoffrey Williams, M.D., Ph.D., with the Healthy Living Center.

Its about time that those businesses start recognizing the cost for tobacco both for their workforce and for the population and stop profiting from the early death of their clients, Williams added.

 
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