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Local reaction to CVS tobacco plan

People who believe tobacco products do not belong in pharmacies received encouraging news Wednesday when CVS Caremark announced it is dropping tobacco from the products it offers in its 7600 stores across the U.S. There's a pharmacy in Cohoes that has been tobacco free about thirty years.

"It's actually solidified our reputation as health care professionals," says Marra's owner John McDonald, a pharmacist, former mayor and sitting Assemblyman from Cohoes. "For our business it worked out well and I think it would for the rest of our colleagues."

The director of the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coaltion, Judy Rightmyer, believes the move CVS is making will have a huge effect on how people perceive cigarettes. "It denormalizes this product," says Rightmyer. "You won't be able to make this connection that the product is just kind of benign."

The President an CEO of CVS says the decision is in line with the thinking of the American Medical Association and other groups who oppose tobacco products in pharmacies. "We've come to the conclusion that tobacco in a setting where healthcare is being administered - those two just don't go together," says Larry Merlo.

CVS also plans to begin a program that will help people stop smoking.