Return to site

Seeing with New Eyes

by Chantel Folks

· health,tobacco prevention,social norms,smoking,vaping

Growing up with an immediate family that never smoked or used any other kind of tobacco products meant I never really had to pay attention to it when I went to a grocery or convenience store. After learning more about tobacco, its history, and how it’s sold I’ve started to see and realize things that I hadn’t before. To start, I honestly had no idea there were so many different types of cigarettes! In every store I went to (Walgreens, CVS, Wawa) there was just rows and rows of different types and brands of them. Something else that I noticed, was that the tobacco products display was colorful and vibrant, attesting to Big Tobacco’s attempts to target younger buyers. 


Another thing that I found interesting while I was visiting different stores was that, to me it seems like in our attempt to regulate the sale of certain harmful substances (tobacco, alcohol, etc.) we’ve kind of helped to make them more desirable. For instance, tobacco products have their own display wall, that’s usually behind the counter (and sometimes the most attractive display in the store), and some stores have a special annex specifically for alcohol. Finally, after doing this assignment, I talked to my sister who just started working at a convivence store on the navy base in her town, and I’m sad to say that she mentioned that almost every other sale she’s made since she started working there has included some sort of tobacco product. I am glad that I’ll have the opportunity to assist in the effort to decrease the frequency and regularity of tobacco sales in the future.