President Obama on Wednesday applauded CVS Caremark's decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores.
"As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today's decision will help advance my Administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs – ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come," Obama said in a statement.
The president previously struggled with giving up smoking, but his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, said he broke the habit in 2011 after 30 years.
CVS Caremark announced Wednesday that the chain would phase out cigarettes, chewing tobacco and cigars by Oct. 1. CVS is the second-largest drugstore chain in the United States, with 7,600 stores.
The company's CEO, Larry Merlo, acknowledged that smoking has adverse effects on people's health.