Texomans Weigh in on CVS's Anti-Tobacco Stance

- The statistics about the dangers of tobacco have been well known for decades.

Lou Kreidler, director of health for the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District, says, "Each year in the United States, over 440,000 people die of tobacco-related illnesses whether that's cancer, some type of related cancer, or it's lung disease or it's heart disease."

That's something Texoma resident Glenn White knows all too well.

"I had a sister that probably died because she smoked," White says. "She had lung cancer then it went up into her brain and it killed her."

Even so, he says he doesn't necessarily agree with CVS's decision to pull tobacco products from their shelves.

"If they want to lose that revenue, that's up to them, but people are still going to be buying cigarettes somewhere," White says. "I see it as a legal product and they have the right to do it."

"Smoking and tobacco products effect every organ in your body," Kreidler says.

"I don't smoke, so I don't really care what CVS does," Glenn White, a Wichita Falls resident, says.

But it's a decision that's being praised by health officials.

"I think it's an exciting day for public health when a company recognizes that as a healthcare company, as a pharmacy where they're selling healthcare products and they're promoting good health that it's incongruent with their mission to be selling tobacco products, which we know has detrimental health effects," Kreidler says.

Company officials say their more than 7600 stores will stop selling tobacco products by October 1.

CVS officials say they made the decision to support the health and well-being of their customers.

They also plan to launch an anti-smoking campaign in the coming months.

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