Monday, June 27, 2011


An Interesting class assignment today required us to go to a Rotterdam market and pick one item and compare that item to one In the states. . I selected a pack of cigarettes, though I must say I don’t smoke. First thing I noticed was the cost. Cigarettes here start off at five dollars and up. Cigarettes in the state can cost eight dollars and up, depending on the state you live and the taxes. Advertising is the other noticeable difference. You’ll see adds in some publications in the U.S. and on billboards that show people smoking and looking “cool” because they’re holding a cigarette in their hand. At least that’s what the advertisers want you to think. Here in Rotterdam, no cigarette ads area allowed on billboards, magazines or newspapers. It’s only approved if it’s in a tobacco shop. There’s also a message on the label here in the Netherlands that’s not as scary or threatening as the warnings you find on U.S. packages. Labels in the U.S. have different messages: Can cause cancer, lung disease, death or hurt an unborn child. Now cigarette makers in the U.S. will also have to carry graphic pictures of the health effects of smoking. Variety and brand names also seem to be limited. You’ll find a greater selection in the state. In Rotterdam, sixteen years can legally smoke, but in the U.S. you have to be at least 18 or older and you have to show an I.D. Smokers here don’t seem to be treated like outcast like in the states. You’ll even find people smoking inside buildings and that’s absolutely prohibited in the states.