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Fox News Wonders If CVS Can Legally Halt Tobacco Sales

In FoxLand, private industry can refuse to comply with the Affordable Care Act, but a voluntary halt to cigarette sales is just wrong.

For a news channel that squawks all the time about those poor big corporations and how their liberties are being stepped on by everything from the ACA to gun safety laws, they sure know how to go out of tune on CVS' decision to quit selling tobacco products.

Fox News responded to the announcement that CVS would no longer sell cigarettes by criticizing the pharmacy chain and leveling attacks at President Obama after he expressed support for the company's decision.

On February 5, CVS Caremark announced that it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its pharmacy stores by the beginning of October. The move was met with praise from health organizations like the American Cancer Society and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy dedicated to public health. President Obama also weighed in on the decision with a statement of support, saying it was a "profoundly positive" move and will help advance efforts "to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs."

As if on cue, Fox News responded to Obama's praise by manufacturing a controversy over the CVS decision.

On Fox's The Real Story, host Gretchen Carlson approached the CVS decision with suspicion and a remarkably uninformed premise, asking, "Is it OK legally ... to restrict tobacco availability in a private store like this?" She questioned her guests as to whether they would continue shopping at CVS and observed that, "For people who smoke, you know, they have a right to buy cigarettes. It's not illegal."

It has always struck me as incongruous to see cigarettes on pharmacy shelves. I'm glad CVS is doing this, as most people seem to be. Except for Fox News, who just cannot possibly agree with President Obama on anything -- even a corporate decision made on their own without any government interference.

I guess liberty only matters if it means opposing the president.

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