Coles locks away common bathroom item due to 'harmful' trend

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Coles has taken a proactive step to minimise the risk of a potentially fatal trend, by locking away a common bathroom item in some of its stores.

One Coles customer at the Myer Centre in Brisbane noticed the selection of aerosol deodorants was locked behind a glass door and shared a picture of the scene to Reddit.

While it might be odd to see a seemingly innocuous item locked away, Coles had a simple reason for doing so – pointing to the potentially deadly act of chroming.

“Like a number of retailers, Coles is co-operating with police to minimise harm caused by the misuse of aerosol products," a company spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

"A number of our stores now have lockable aerosol cabinets installed, and customers seeking to purchase these products can simply ask a team member at the service desk for assistance."

Pictured is the locked cabinet for the deodorant at a Coles in Brisbane.
The aerosol deodorant cabinet at the Coles store in Brisbane was locked behind a cabinet. Source: Reddit/u/circuitbreaker53

The spokesperson said there had been positive feedback from customers where the lockable aerosol cabinets have been implemented.

"It takes the whole community to support this issue,” the spokesperson added.

Many people in the comments of the Reddit post had also deduced why the aerosol cans were locked up.

"I drive a bus in Brisbane. Chroming is a massive issue," one person said.

The deadly trend of chroming

Chroming, refers to a method of getting high with inhalants, like deodorant and doing so can be very dangerous and even fatal.

"Inhaling certain substances has been known to cause sudden death," the Alcohol and Drug Foundation says.

"It is believed that chemicals in these products can cause heart failure, particularly if the person is stressed or does heavy exercise after inhaling. However, this is very rare."

Pictured is the front of a Coles supermarket
Coles has locked away aerosol cans at several stores and the move was made in cooperation with the police. Source: Getty Images

There have been several deaths associated with chroming in Australia.

In 2020 Corinne Mair spoke out about the dangers of chroming after her 16-year-old son died after trying it for the first time.

"[He] and his mates made a silly decision and it cost him his life," Ms Mair told A Current Affair at the time.

Queensland mother Dianne Kendrick also raised concerns about the deadly trend, following her son's death in 2015.

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