I am not a smoker, but CVS's decision to stop selling cigarettes is laughable ("CVS goes smoke free," Feb. 5).

The company has obviously done this for the publicity so it can stand out while not caring one iota about consumers' health. If they care so much about consumers' health, why not get rid of the candy, chips, alcohol products and soda pop as well?

Maybe they forgot that their tobacco products are drawing customers into the store to make other purchases — such as candy, cosmetics and prescription medication — as well as visit their walk-in "clinics" (as a physician, I object to the irresponsible use of that term).

Over the years of my medical practice I have encouraged and counseled patients to stop using tobacco. Other than that, it is their decision and their responsibility, for which they must be willing to suffer the ramifications.

It is like raising kids. You advise, you set standards by example, and after that, it is out of your hands and you must cut some slack.

John Starr

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