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Local Reaction to CVS No Tobacco Sale

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--A well known business here in the corridor as well as nationwide is taking a stand against smoking.

CVS Caremark announced today that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco in all of its nationwide pharmacies.

The company says it wants to focus on providing health services.

Thomas Shaheen ownsThingsnThings a local store that sells hookahs, jewelry and other items, but there's something else that helps him boost sales.

"Cigarettes are a good attention. People come in just to buy cigarettes which will bring out our other products in our store, said owner Thomas Shaheen, owner of ThingsNThings.

Which is why he thinks CVS is making a mistake by opting to no longer sell tobacco products.

"I don't understand why they are doing it. They are going to lose a lot and lot and lot of sales because of not carrying it, said Shaheen.

Some echo the same idea.

"They are probably going to lose some money from it but that's their choice if they want to help people be healthier that's their choice, said smoker Hailey Vanamburg.

That's the point the health factor behind this move is why Dr. Pramod Dwivedi Health Director of Linn County public health supports it.

"Tobacco in my mind is a deathly product although it is legal, said Dwivedi.

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is responsible for nearly one in five deaths, or about 443,000 early deaths each year.

"In Iowa itself annually about 4,500 people die each year, said Dwivedi.

Dwivedi says changes like this, from a national pharmacy company, is good for the nation.

As for Shaheen, he says it's good for ThingsNThings too.

"People smoke there are going to get them someplace, said Shaheen.

You will still see cigarettes and tobacco products on the shelves at CVS Caremark.

The change doesn't take effect until about eight months from now, on October 1st.
 
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