When your shopping store makes you sick

Since 2011, our UNC/Counter research team has been advocating for healthier stores.

Lots of Americans live in neighborhoods where their chances for living a healthy life are slim, in part because the accessible retail stores are loaded down with tobacco products and junk food.

And, combustible tobacco use — smoking cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos — remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the world. It kills half a million people in the US every year and we largely ignore it, because the tobacco industry is now hanging out in retail stores (to the tune of $1 million/hour spent keeping tobacco cheap and visible) where they can hook (OUR) children into smoking and make it virtually impossible for current smokers to quit.

We KNOW how to fix the tobacco problem. All we need to do is decide that creating the opportunity for a tobacco free life is a value we share. Here’s a paper we wrote about transitioning toxic neighborhood stores to places that can promote health. It’s a tangible start to creating the conditions for health in neighborhoods that desperately deserve them.


Thanks to the CDC for publishing our art.


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