WOONSOCKET, RI—Ninety days after the pharmacy chain’s public announcement that it would cease carrying tobacco products, a visibly on edge and jittery CVS broke its vow and resumed selling cigarettes, sources confirmed Wednesday. “We were doing pretty well there for a while, but it’s been a tough quarter for us, and combined with all the stress of the holidays, we just had to sell a few smokes,” said CVS spokesperson Elliot Steingart, who admitted that after suffering a breakdown over the busy Thanksgiving weekend and selling a few Marlboros, the company was back up to 40,000 packs a day. “We tried selling more nicotine patches back in November, but that wasn’t cutting it. At this point, we just decided, all right, let’s let ourselves sell as many cigarettes as we want over the next few weeks to get it out of our system and then quit for good on January 1.” Steingart added that CVS customers shouldn’t be too concerned about the company as it has always sold cigarettes in moderation, except when it sells alcohol at the same time.
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