Technical Paper 2:
Tobacco Control in Australia: making smoking history
3.1.3 Place of sale
Policy intention: to regulate supply so that tobacco products are available to adults who use them, but are not highly visible, and are not sold to children
Additional evidence since 2004
The display of tobacco products in stores contributes to the perception that cigarettes are widely and easily available, and that smoking is the norm. The prominence of such displays may lead young people to overestimate smoking prevalence among peers and the adult population. Perceived availability and overestimation of smoking prevalence have both been shown to predict smoking initiation.
Two recent Australian studies demonstrate the powerful impact of retail displays on both children and adult smokers.[147, 148] The first study shows that children who viewed cigarette displays perceived that it would be easier to purchase tobacco, and tended to recall displayed cigarette brands more often than respondents who saw no cigarettes. A survey of adults found that cigarette displays act as cues to smoke, even among those not explicitly intending to buy cigarettes and among those trying to avoid smoking.
Given the higher prevalence of smoking and the greater prominence of tobacco in retail outlets in disadvantaged areas, this measure may also have a greater effect on children living in more disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
Progress against international comparators
Jurisdictions that have prohibited the display of tobacco products include: Iceland (2001), Thailand (2005), British Virgin Islands (2007), Ireland (2008) and Canada (12 provinces). The Canadian federal government has consulted on introducing regulations for a national display ban,[150, 151] as have governments in New Zealand (which plans to introduce legislation in 2009), Norway and Britain.
In Australia, governments have introduced legislation to ban displays in Tasmania (2011),18
the Australian Capital Territory (December 09),19
the Northern Territory (2010) and New South Wales (2010). The Victorian government is also currently consulting about such legislation.
Amend the tobacco advertising prohibition act 1992 (cth) to prohibit the display of tobacco products in all states and territories