CVS Pulls Tobacco Products From Its Shelves; Baltimore Puts Smoking Bans On The Table

BALTIMORE (WJZ)— There’s strong reaction to that bold decision from CVS to stop selling tobacco products in stores. This as Baltimore City takes aim at smokers.

Linh Bui has details on a bill in the works to ban smoking.

CVS snuffs out cigarette sales.

The drugstore chain will pull tobacco products from its 7,600 stores nationwide as it becomes more of a health care provider.

“I hope other stores will follow suit. Absolutely,” said Serena Baum, non-smoker.

“Doesn’t really bother me because I don’t buy my cigarettes at CVS anyway,” said Amy Thommen, smoker.

When asked about banning all pharmacies from selling tobacco products in Baltimore City, health commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said they would first ask pharmacies to voluntarily remove tobacco from its shelves.

“If you’re a pharmacy and you stand for health and wellness, then it doesn’t make sense that you would think it’s OK to sell tobacco,” Barbot said.

In a statement, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says she “does not support a citywide ban on all tobacco products.”

But she does support restrictions, such as banning smoking at parks.

WJZ found cigarette butts littered around a playground off Falls Road. Right now, there’s a bill in Baltimore City Council to ban smoking near playgrounds, school yards and athletic facilities.

Each year in Maryland, 4,200 kids start smoking.

“There are places in our city where we don’t want our children to be exposed to second-hand smoke and we don’t want our children to be accustomed to a culture of smoking,” Barbot said.

CVS will phase out tobacco products by Oct. 1.

CVS stands to lose about $2 billion in annual revenue.

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