CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -

In an effort to stay true to its healthy mission and help millions of other Americans kick the habit, drugstore giant CVS Pharmacy announced it's pulling cigarettes and all other tobacco products from it's 7,600 store locations, calling them inconsistent with the pharmacy's purpose.

The drugstore doesn't want to continue selling tobacco products so close to where many americans buy their medications and seek medical advice.

"What kind of company do we want to be, do we really want to be a healthcare company? It was the right decision for us," said CVS Pharmacy President Helena Folkes.

"That's what they stress. That's what they should continue to do," said Lee Foley, of Desert Hot Springs.

The chain plans to remove tobacco completely from its shelves by Oct. 1. The move will burn up nearly $2 billion dollars in annual sales for the drugstore chain, but compared to the $300 billion spent on the health costs of smoking, it could be a small price to pay

CVS is the first major pharmacy to ban tobacco products. Will it pressure other retail pharmacies, including Rite-Aid or the nation's largest drugstore chain, Walgreens, to do the same.

"Hopefully the others will follow suit and think of a healthier environment for everyone," said James Foley.

It will take nearly a year for CVS stores to clear their shelves, but it will clear the air for their image.

"The less cigarettes, the better," said Foley.