The growing number of teen smokers has been the problem of many countries for decades. Laws have been enacted to address the problem, but the numbers continue to grow. On the other hand, tobacco companies continue to circumnavigate these laws and intensify their campaign to encourage smoking, even spending millions and billions of dollars to develop new marketing strategies to increase their consumers. But of course they won’t admit it. Then again, the government can do something.
According to a new research conducted in the University of Otago, banning the display and advertisements of cigarettes and tobacco products in retail stores can actually help prevent teens and young adults from smoking, and help keep quitters stay on track.
Led by Lindsay Robertson of the University’s Cancer Society Social & Behavioural Research Unit, the research reviewed different published studies since 2008 examining the relationship between cigarette marketing in retail stores and smoking.
Nine out of the twenty studies reviewed explicitly studied minors and teens – all revealed that majority of the teens who saw cigarette displays or advertisements in retail stores are more likely to be encouraged to smoke. According to Robertson this could possibly mean that if tobacco products and cigarettes are not to be displayed openly, there is a great possibility that adolescents will change the way they see smoking – being less common. The lesser the exposure is, the less likely the youth will be encouraged to smoke.
The study also suggests that adult smokers are less likely to be tempted to smoke if there will be no tobacco or cigarette displays when they enter retail stores. Impulse purchases and smoking for quitters will likewise be prevented.
In 2012, New Zealand enacted a law prohibiting the open display of tobacco in retail stores, bars and other similar outlets. The studies suggest that such measure will help the government in it campaign against smoking by 2025 by reducing smoking among youth and supporting smoker’s effort to quit. According to Robertson, banning the display of tobacco can help other countries reduce smoking.