As CVS sharpens its focus on customer health, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain will tweak its corporate name and stop the sale of tobacco nearly a month sooner than planned.


CVS Caremark said it will now be known as CVS Health, effective immediately.


The signs on its roughly 7,700 drugstores won't switch, so the change might not register with shoppers.


Those customers will see a big change when they check out, however.


The cigars and cigarettes that used to fill the shelves behind store cash registers have been replaced with nicotine gum and signs urging visitors to kick the tobacco habit.


“It's great,” said Detress Hay, of Aiken. “It helps the younger generation not to start a bad habit.”


In Aiken, Warren Sain, of Orlando, Florida, said, “For society in general, I think it's a great idea”.


CVS and other drugstores have delved deeper into customer health in recent years, in part to serve the aging baby boomer generation and the millions of uninsured people who are expected to gain coverage under the federal health care overhaul.


Though competitors Walgreen Co. and Rite Aid Corp. still sell tobacco, they've all started offering more health-care products and added walk-in clinics to their stores while expanding the care they provide.


“They will lose some of their business,” said Patrick Browning, of Aiken. “It makes more sense for a health-oriented business to not sell things to damage your health.”


Drugstores now offer an array of vaccinations and flu shots, and many of their clinics can help monitor chronic illnesses such as diabetes or high blood pressure.


“We're doing more and more to extend the front lines of health care,” CVS CEO Larry Merlo said.


CVS still stocks its shelves with sugary snacks and other foods that are considered unhealthily.


Company executives have been quick to point out that chocolate bars in moderation pose little health risk, but no amount of tobacco is considered safe.


“If they ban cigarettes everywhere, then maybe it won't be hard for me to stop smoking,” said Erica Carter, of Aiken. “It's not wrong for CVS; they're looking out for people's health.”


The CVS corporate name change reflects the health push while removing a reference to the company's biggest revenue producer, its Caremark pharmacy benefits management.


The name Caremark, however, had never really registered with the average person, according to Laura Ries, the president of the brand consulting firm Ries & Ries.


CVS, which is ranked 12th in the 2014 Fortune 500, announced in February that it would phase out tobacco sales by Oct. 1 because it could no longer sell tobacco in a setting where health care is offered.


The CEO at CVS has said the company expects to lose about $2 billion in revenue annually after pulling tobacco, but executives believe they can counter that loss, at least in part, through growth the company may get from health care.


Merlo declined to estimate how much of a benefit CVS expects.


The potential revenue loss hasn't spooked investors so far. CVS shares have climbed about 22 percent since the tobacco announcement. Shares rose 83 cents to $80.56 in Wednesday afternoon trading.