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Tobacco Express

For years, motorists have queued up to drive through their favorite fast food restaurants, banks and pharmacies. Now, for the smokers in the crowd, there's a drive-through cigarette shop.

Dameon Patterson manages the Easton, Pa. shop and estimates 98 percent of his customers use the drive-up window according to the Pennsylvania Express Times.

"A majority of people basically just want to be in a rush to do their thing," Patterson said as he waited on a steady stream of auto-idling customers at the window. "It's so simple to really just drive up and get what you need."

Supervisor Scott Wilkinson said the shop, owned by Square One Markets, has been open for three years. Last year, the company's second Lehigh Valley drive-through tobacco shop opened in Northampton.

Eventually, Tobacco Express is getting a Pennsylvania Lottery machine, but don?t expect drive-through lottery sales. "I can see somebody trying to buy 20 lottery tickets" at the drive-through, Wilkinson said. "They?ll have to walk inside to buy them."

The smoke shop employs six and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Wilkinson, who doesn't smoke, said the store stocks about 300 different brands of cigarettes. The biggest sellers are Marlboro and Newports, Wilkinson said. But for people trying to kick the habit, the store carries natural herb cigarettes, too.

The drive-through concept caters to the customers, according to Patterson. "They're a lot more comfortable - for the elderly, the handicapped. It works for everybody," he said.
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