In February CVS announced that within months it will no longer sell tobacco products. And smokers everywhere likely headed down the road to another drug store. And yet, the bold step by the national retailer is a powerful signal in the fight against tobacco.
“Someone has to take the first step,” says Lafayette cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Dr. Mitchell Lirtzman of Louisiana Heart, Lung & Vascular at the Regional Medical Center of Acadiana. “Someone has to say, ‘We are more concerned about health and about the well-being of our customers rather than the bottom line.’ I am hopeful this will encourage other retailers to do the same thing.”
And the doctor hopes the statement by CVS will encourage more people to consider the risks taken when they smoke. Like the risk of developing lung cancer, which is the biggest killer in cancer and more common in women than breast cancer. 
“In addition to lung cancer it’s emphysema and vascular disease and stroke and hypertension. Maybe people will take the hint. Maybe I ought to stop this or perhaps kids will say maybe I ought not do this,” Lirtzman says. “I was shocked and surprised and elated when I saw this. It’s a great thing.” 

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