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Smokers will soon need to find an alternative to their local Schnucks store.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, Schnuck Markets Inc. will end the sale of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and snuff. The company will sell through its existing inventory through the end of the year, and also continue its practice of not selling e-cigarettes or vaping products. 

In addition, starting on Oct. 15 and continuing indefinitely, Schnucks will offer double Schnucks Rewards loyalty points on all over-the counter smoking cessation products. The retailer’s announcement comes as the company is increasing its focus on wellness. 

Health-and-wellness initiatives it has launched in the past year include a partnership with gyms, a wellness guide within the Schnucks Rewards app that enables customers to view nutritional information and labels, and health programs for women and children. In addition to these initiatives and the commitment to no longer sell tobacco products, Schnucks will be announcing additional health-and-wellness initiatives in the coming months and throughout 2020.

“Tobacco products are certainly a profitable part of our business, but our company’s mission is to nourish people’s lives,” said Schnucks chairman & CEO Todd Schnuck. “Tobacco products directly contradict our core mission and that means that they simply don’t belong in our stores. We respect people’s right to make decisions that are best for them, and while we know this may not sit well with everyone, we believe it’s the right thing to do for the health of our communities and our customers, and that makes it the right decision for our company.”

CVS stopped selling tobacco products in October 2016. More recently, retailers including Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid have limited the sale of tobacco products by raising the minimum purchase age from 18 to 21.

Schnucks operates 115 stores, serving customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

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