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November 22, 2014

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CVS changes name, stops tobacco sales early

Image

Gene J. Puskar / AP

In this Wednesday, July 17, 2013, file photo, Marlboro cigarettes are on display in a CVS store in Pittsburgh. The nation’s second-largest drugstore chain says it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1 as it continues to focus more on health care.

As CVS sharpens its focus on customer health, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain will tweak its corporate name and stop the sale of tobacco nearly a month sooner than planned.

CVS Caremark will now be known as CVS Health. The signs on its roughly 7,700 drugstores won't change, so the tweak may not register with shoppers.

However, those customers will see a big change when they check out. The cigars and cigarettes that used to fill the shelves behind store cash registers have been replaced with nicotine gum and other products that help people kick the tobacco habit. CVS said earlier this year that it would stop selling tobacco products on Oct. 1.

CVS and other drugstores have delved deeper into customer health care in recent years.

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