Woolworths locks up common bathroom product: 'Like going back in time'

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Woolworths shoppers in the Gold Coast are in disbelief after a common bathroom item once easily accessible on the shelf has suddenly been locked away.

“It’s actually like going back in time, bizarre,” one Reddit user commented after someone posted a photo of deodorants locked away in a glass cabinet.

Deodorant cans locked up at Woolworths store
A Woolworths store on the Gold Coast has put deodorants behind lock and key, to the shock of some shoppers. Source: Reddit

Woolworths, along with rival supermarket chain Coles, have started locking away aerosol deodorants in certain stores across parts of Australia in response to the deadly trend called “chroming”, a form of substance abuse where users inhale deodorants, solvents and other chemicals.

Chroming awareness

While some users expressed their shock over the photo, other Redditors in the know chimed in on the logic behind the new policy.

“People steal them to huff. It’s called chroming. It’s extremely dangerous,” one Reddit user explained in the comments.

“There’s butane and propane in deodorant cans. That’s what gets them high when they huff it,” another Redditor added.

Worrying trend

Woolworths and Coles began putting aerosol deodorants behind lock and key last year after they discovered children as young as seven were openly sniffing the substances in the mining town of Mount Isa in Queensland.

Rexona deodorant can
Woolworths has started locking away aerosol deodorants in certain stores across parts of Australia in response to the deadly trend called "chroming". Source: Getty Images

This trend, which is also known as “huffing” or “rexing”, has become a worrying problem in certain cities across Australia especially among the youth, due to its potential to cause brain damage and death.

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Woolworths had earlier said they would be moving aerosol deodorants behind locked cabinets in four stores in Cairns by the end of the month, a move welcomed by business owners in the city following a long-running problem of both adults and children chroming in plain sight around the CBD.

Wellbeing support service CAREinMIND notes that solvent abuse such as chroming often occurs among the youth due to its accessibility through over-the-counter products.

“This needs to happen all across Australia,” one Reddit user commented on the thread. “I am a youth worker... It ruins brains and lives.”

Woolworths is yet to respond to enquiries about which other stores are set to display deodorants behind lock and key.

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