Local health educators commend CVS - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Local health educators commend CVS

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – CVS, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, will be pulling tobacco from their shelves by Oct. 1.

The company sells about $1.5 billion of tobacco each year. According to the Associated Press, it expects to lose $2 billion in annual revenue by removing tobacco products.

That's because smokers also buy other products when they visit the store.

The decision is a shift toward being more of a health care provider.

CVS has been expanding some of its clinics to help people manage chronic illnesses, like high blood pressure and diabetes, according to the AP.

The turnover is something area health educators are commending.

"You know when you look at the power wall behind you and you have cessation products and then you have tobacco products sitting right next to each other, it's just very confusing to the community, to our youth, as to what the message is as to what that business is about," said Judi Zabel, a health educator for La Crosse County.

According to the Surgeon General, smoking could be costing the U.S. more than $300 billion each year in sickness and lost productivity.

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