When the largest pharmacy chain in the US makes the decision that they know will cost them $2 billion in sales, you know they're trying to get a point across. That's exactly what CVS is doing with their decision to no longer sell tobacco products.

Forbes reports that all 7,600 CVS stores nationwide will no longer sell cigarettes and tobacco related products as of Oct. 14 of this year. They're the first major retailer to make this decision, ignoring the profits they would make for the better health of their customers.

Their chief executive, Larry Merlo, had this to say:

"We've got 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners who are helping millions of patients each and every day... They manage conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes — all conditions that are worsened by smoking. We’ve come to the decision that cigarettes have no place in an environment where healthcare is being delivered."

He went on to indicate that continuing the sales of tobacco products goes against CVS' long-term plan to become a major player in the US health care system. The Surgeon General blames 480,000 deaths each year on heart disease, lung cancer and stroke - all that are directly linked to smoking. Instead, CVS will be focused on giving flu shots and providing prescriptions with an in-house nurse practitioner (a growing trend at their locations)?.

I may be bias, as I've never smoked so much as a single puff of a cigarette in my entire life, but I think this is a GREAT idea and a major step in the right direction. What do you think??