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U.S. President Barack Obama answers questions in the White House Press Briefing Room ahead of a meeting with his national security council in Washington, August 28, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing  U.S. President Barack Obama answers questions in the White House Press Briefing Room ahead of a meeting with his national security council in Washington, August 28, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing   

White House Makes Official Statement Celebrating CVS Cigarette Ban

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The White House is praising drugstore chain CVS for no longer selling tobacco products.

“The President has made creating a tobacco-free generation a top priority,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

CVS announced earlier this year it would no longer have tobacco products on it shelves. Wednesday marked the first day of CVS being tobacco-free.

“By eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from sale in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans,” Larry J. Merlo, the president and CEO of CVS Health, said Wednesday.

Wednesday’s statement from the White House is not typical. Rarely do you see the White House draw positive attention to a policy change made by a private business.

“CVS’s actions will not only help Americans across the country who are trying to quit smoking, it will also help ensure that when families go to their neighborhood pharmacy, they can get the information and support they need to live healthy lives, which can contribute to driving down health care costs,” Earnest said.

President Obama has been public about his desire to quit smoking.

In 2009, Obama said: “As a former smoker, I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No.”

In 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama said her husband had successfully kicked the habit.

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