The nation's second-largest drugstore chain has decided to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products as of Oct. 1.

Brian G. Green, Getty Images

CVS Caremark has announced they will phase out all kinds of smokes and chewing tobacco. It will cost the company an estimated $2 billion in lost revenue, but the pharmacy chain said Wednesday that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered.

Deb Brown of the American Lung Association said she is encouraged by the news that CVS will help smokers kick the habit.

"We also need to make sure that we do have that current support, for smokers who are actively seeking to quit their tobacco use," Brown said.

CVS said removing tobacco sales will help them grow their business of working with health care providers.

They would not indicate how the now-empty space will be filled up -- in other words, what CVS will be selling instead.

The federal government is redoubling its efforts to reduce deaths and health problems associated with tobacco use, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General's 1964 report that launched the anti-smoking movement.

A new, 980-page report issued last month by the acting Surgeon General also urged new efforts to make the next generation smoke-free.