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Why CVS is Smart to Exit Cigarette Business

The traditional cigarette market took a big hit on Wednesday after CVS (NYSE:CVS) said tobacco no longer has a place in settings promoting healthy living.Lots of people apparently disagreed with that sentiment, and the pharmacy giant spent much of its day defending itself against critics on Twitter (NASDAQ:TWTR). But whether you are in the pool of supporters or not, it's hard to argue that this is not a smart strategic move for CVS.Tobacco may drive foot traffic that can lift front-end sales but it's a dying market in the U.S.Smoking remains rampant in Europe and Asia, but less than 20% of Americans now smoke regularly thanks to jarring anti-smoking campaigns and studies directly linking smoke to cancer.Exiting at this early stage not only gives CVS the ability to divest a business before it becomes unprofitable and free up cash for new products and programs, but also the chance to leave on a moral high ground and potentially use that as marketing leverage."The positive attention CVS i...

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