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Obama praises pharmacy chain CVS for pulling tobacco from shelves

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is praising CVS Caremark for its decision to stop selling tobacco products at its drugstores.

Obama says CVS, the second-largest U.S. drugstore chain, is setting a "powerful example," and says the decision will help his administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths and disease and bring down health care costs.

Obama is a former cigarette smoker. First lady Michelle Obama said in 2011 that her husband had finally kicked the habit.

CVS Caremark said Wednesday that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1, a move that will cost it about $2 billion in annual revenue.

Obama, in a statement released Wednesday by the White House, says CVS new policy "will have a profoundly positive impact on the health of our country."

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