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Saturday, 26 May 2012

Smokers change their buying habits.


If the likes of ASH think that by putting the display of tobacco products behind shutters in supermarkets would deter smokers. I can tell you that it has actually had the perverse effect of making it quicker to buy those products.

Before shutterdayTM  as an example I would visit my local supermarket to buy a newspaper. Having picked it up I would head for the tobacco counter to pick up a packet of twenty ciggies. In front of me would be a couple of people buying tobacco and with small baskets of shopping which were processed at that counter. Delay five minutes.

In fact there is now less of a delay.

At the well known supermarket near my son’s house the behaviour of the supermarket and the tobacco buyer has changed. At that counter only tobacco products are processed. No baskets allowed. And that the trend of tobacco shoppers has changed to buying multiple packs.

Both times I’ve been there not one person has bought less than 100 at a time. Both times I was served by the same member of staff who knew intimately where each brand was situated behind the shutters.

So ASH if you thought you could inconvenience smokers, then I’m afraid you’ve actually made the buying experience BETTER.


  1. Nothing like my experience at either local supermarket.
    Tescos is busy selling papers, lottery, flowers, snacks & baskets of odds and sods with queues of 8 or a dozen and only one serving(but he/she is usually very efficient). Nice touch of quite bright and noticeable graphics on the doors!!!

    Sainsburys have shorter queues serving a variety similar to Tesco BUT they seem to have run their stocks down and seem to employ young girls whose lack of smoking experience and smoking products have not been enhanced by views of glitzy packaging. - very similar to the quality of service I find in my local pubs where cheap, personalityless youngsters have replaced welcoming bar staff

  2. Xopher.

    This was a Sainsburys. I presume that they letter their managers decide.

  3. Counter-propaganda stickers would help -

    smoke for better health
    smoke your way to business success
    smoking stops global warming
    teenagers who smoke look more adult
    light up to save england from the eu
    never trust a plumber without a pipe

  4. Classic - a government "solution" to a non-problem which just makes that "problem" worse.

  5. Mike Spilligan27 May 2012 at 10:02

    I often chat to my local proprietor-run newsagent/con/tobs. He tells me that business (unshuttered for him) has never been better, mostly due to the tobacco/ciggies side; yet a month ago he was worried because of the general downturn and collapse of newspaper sales.

  6. I popped into Waitrose for some baccy a couple of weeks ago. Made a bit of a light hearted song and dance at the kiosk and suggested those close by look away as the treasure chest was opened. The lady serving was very friendly and bemused by the ban. Though not a smoker herself, her parting comment was 'enjoy your tobacco!'.

    As for the queue, I think some, at least, may have been buying lottery tickets. I guess the ban speeds up that transaction as well....


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