CVS pulling nicotine off shelves and changing name

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Tobacco at CVS is off the shelves for good. The chain announced it would do away with tobacco products for the health of their customers by October 1st of this year, but said they're a month ahead of schedule.

Brian Ray has smoked for 20 years and said he thinks customers will just find cigarettes somewhere else.

"I guess it's good for them and it makes them look good," Ray said. "But if you smoke, you're going to get cigarettes wherever you can."

CVS admitted Ray isn't alone, but said they've done research in two major cities where a ban was put in place.

"We looked at San Francisco and Boston," Troy Brennan, M.D. and Chief Medical Officer for CVS said, "where retailers have bans and there was up to a 13% decrease in tobacco use overall. That's 65 thousand lives that could be saved."

Still, Ray doesn't think those numbers will stop him or anyone else from lighting up.

"If you want to stop, you're going to do it whether they stop selling or not," Ray said.

CVS has also changed its named to CVS Health, but said signs outside stores will not change.

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