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CVS Stores Closing Doors to Tobacco Products; Local Impact on Farmers--Mikayla Lewis

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SPRINGFIELD, Tennessee- CVS Caremark will no longer sell tobacco products by October 1st, 2014. The decision is expected to cost about $2 billion dollars this year, for the nation's second largest pharmacy. Tennessee is one of the top producers of tobacco in the country.

Right now, state tobacco farmers are getting to re-seed for the 2014 season.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo said, "It's the right time and the right decision  to remove cigarettes and tobacco products from our store shelves positioning us for a growing role in the health care delivery system."

Will the tobacco industry continue to grow or come to halt because of the CVS decision?

Tobacco Farmer William Corbin said, " The market will increase and decrease. It will fluctuate just like it always has over the years."

Corbin has continued to farm tobacco after three generations in his family in Robertson County. Corbin says the number of tobacco farmers dropped after the tobacco buyout nearly a decade ago. He says CVS's decision should not impact his business directly.

Corbin explained, " The middle man companies no matter what you're talking about whatever product it is, they'll feel the pinch quicker than anyone." 

CVS will no longer sell tobacco in any of its U.S. locations which includes more than 7,600 stores. Some think other chains will follow.

Corbin added, " There will be other chains that follow I am sure, but it was a little contradictory CVS pharmacy it just seemed out of place. I know that seems odd."

It seems odd for some having to buy cigarettes elsewhere soon, like Springfield resident Paula Hummel.

"They're open 24 hours, nobody else is open and now we're going to have to figure out where to get our cigarettes late at night," said Hummel.

Corbin added, " There's always going to be a demand, whether that's good or bad."

President Obama released a statement in support of CVS. The store will also start a national program encouraging people to stop smoking this spring.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17

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