Obama praises CVS’s decision to stop selling cigarettes

President Obama is praising the CVS retail chain's decision, announced Wednesday morning, to stop selling cigarettes at its stores.

"As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today’s decision will help advance my administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs – ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come," Obama said. "I congratulate – and thank – the CEO of CVS Caremark, Larry Merlo, the board of directors, and all who helped make a choice that will have a profoundly positive impact on the health of our country."

CVS is the nation's second-largest chain of drugstores.

It's decision to stop selling cigarettes was announced shortly before Obama's statement went out.

Obama has quit smoking while president, and was overheard on a live microphone last year joking that he did so "because I'm scared of my wife."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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Aaron Blake · February 5, 2014