PORTLAND, Maine — Brunswick native Ryan Grady bought his first pack of cigarettes at a CVS store. But Grady, who quit after 10 years of smoking, now says he supports the pharmacy giant’s decision to stop selling tobacco products.
“I applaud their efforts to promote health over a guaranteed profit,” Grady said Thursday.
CVS Caremark Corp., by some metrics the nation’s largest drugstore chain, made waves Wednesday by announcing it will take tobacco products off the shelves of its nearly 7,600 stores by October.
There are 22 CVS stores in Maine, including five in Portland and two each in Augusta and Lewiston.
By quitting tobacco sales, the company is reportedly giving up about $2 billion in annual revenues, a huge amount to everyday Mainers, but one that won’t exactly bankrupt the $130 billion-per-year chain.
While CVS captured recent headlines with the move, some smaller Maine retailers have been spurning cigarettes for years.