CVS Taking Tobacco Off Store Shelves Sits Well With Saginaw Residents

The national pharmacy chain CVS is making a big change. They've decided to take all tobacco products off their shelves. And health officials in Saginaw think the move is a great idea.

"It's a huge step toward reducing access to the number one preventable cause of death in this country,â?? said John McKellar, Health Officer, Saginaw County Department of Public Health.

"I think I'd smoke less if cigarettes weren't available in every store,â?? said Derrick Taylor, smoker.

Wednesday, the CVS Caremark Corporation made the announcement to pull tobacco from its stores. The CEO, Larry Merlo, says "we've come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered."

"I quit for six months, then started back, but I'm quitting again real soon,â?? said Taylor.

Derrick Taylor still lights up every day, but thinks limiting access would help him kick the habit for good. But not everyone sees this the way he does.

"They'll probably find a way to buy it, like they find a way to buy everything else,â?? said Carla Mayes, non-smoker.

Meanwhile, health officials are celebrating this historic move by CVS.

McKellar says 20 percent of adults in Saginaw County smoke. He says the goal is to get that down to ten percent, and he thinks this will help.

"It's sort of a leadership in this direction could motivate other retailers to take similar steps,â?? said McKellar.

The plan is for all CVS pharmacies nationwide to no longer have tobacco products on their shelves by October 1, 2014.