The move by the nation’s second-largest pharmacy chain to remove tobacco products from its stores can only be good news for the state with the second-highest rate of smokers in the nation, according to West Virginia health professionals.

On Wednesday, CVS Health, formerly CVS Caremark, announced that it had pulled tobacco products from the shelves of its 7,600 pharmacy locations nationwide. There are 50 CVS stores in West Virginia, according to its website, including two in Charleston, four in Huntington and four in Parkersburg.

“CVS’s corporate stance is one that now positions them to be more responsible in regard to health,” said Bruce Adkins, director of the Division of Tobacco Prevention for the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health. “They are a major provider in the United States and in West Virginia, and they’re a health-care company, so their corporate stance is that they want to promote health.”

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