Longs Drugs to stop selling tobacco

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Feb 05 2014 08:01:00 PM HST

CVS plans on putting a stop to tobacco sales at all its locations nationwide, including those here in Hawaii through Longs Drugs.

HONOLULU -

Across the country and in Hawaii, CVS plans to stop selling tobacco products.

The move by Longs Drugs and parent company CVS to quit selling tobacco is a calculated move.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

CVS is prepared to lose about $2 billion in revenue. But as the company grows its image as a health care provider, it says selling tobacco is "inconsistent with its purpose."

"What kind of company do we want to be? Do we really want to be a health care company? It was the right decision for us," said Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy.

The Hawaii Dept. Of Health said 1,100 deaths in Hawaii each year are tobacco-related.

"I think it's good for people's health. I had an aunt who had cancer and passed away and so I'm really glad that CVS is taking this step for health," said customer Pono Unuiwi.

"I don't think it will really help anything. People will just go somewhere else to buy their tobacco products," said customer Huwon Chae.

But health officials say CVS' decision is a big step toward promoting a social stigma that smoking is unhealthy.

All tobacco products at CVS stores are going to be phased out by Oct. 1.

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