Cancer and Tobacco Control

Tobacco display ban helped smokers quit

One in four young people in the United Kingdom who gave up smoking last year said the ban on tobacco product displays in shops helped them to kick the habit, a survey revealed.

On April 6 last year supermarkets and other large shops in the UK were prohibited from displaying cigarette packs to the public.

The poll of 1 000 ex-smokers and 1 000 current smokers found that just over 25 percent of ex-smokers between the ages of 18 and 24 said that keeping the products hidden had encouraged them to quit. They also found the regulation helped almost one in five (17 percent) of smokers cut down on the amount they smoke.

“We know that young people can be influenced to smoke by seeing tobacco on display,” said Emma Wrafter, director of youth smoking prevention charity The Deborah Hutton Campaign.

“The results from the poll show that keeping tobacco out-of-sight and out-of-mind does work.

“Tobacco control policy measures are important in driving this and next we’d like to see a change to standardised and plain packaging for all tobacco products to protect future generations of young people.”

At present, the UK’s display ban only affects large shops such as supermarkets – smaller shops do not have to change the displays until 2015.

“The key to preventing a future generation of smokers is to try and discourage people from starting in the first place, as the older people get, often the harder it can be to quit,” said Wrafter.


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