Quit has welcomed news that tobacco displays will phased out in Tasmania from 2011, urging other States to follow and introduce bans on the display of tobacco products immediately.
Executive Director of Quit, Ms Fiona Sharkie, said Tasmania's decisions to remove tobacco displays in the retail environment was a positive step that would help discourage children from taking up the deadly habit and support those attempting to quit.
"Removing cigarette pack displays from sight is a great way to support smokers in their attempts to quit, which will translate into better health outcomes for the whole community."
"By taking this step, the Tasmanian Government are sending the clear message that cigarettes are not normal products and should not be displayed in the same manner as everyday items such as milk and bread."
The call comes hot on the heels of ground-breaking Australian research showing people trying to quit or cut down smoking commonly experience the urge to purchase cigarettes when confronted with cigarette pack displays in retail stores.
The study, to be published online next week in the international journal Addiction, has left no doubt that cigarette displays are not as benign as the tobacco industry would have us believe.
Lead author of the study, Professor Melanie Wakefield, said the importance to the tobacco industry of cigarette pack displays in the retail environment has gained in recent years, as traditional electronic, billboard and print forms of tobacco marketing are restricted."
"Far from being a harmless marketing practice, our study illustrates that cigarette pack displays in retail stores do trigger impulse buying of cigarette among in smokers, even those who are trying to quit, every time they visit a store."
"In addition, the tobacco industry marketing tactic of creating colour-coordinated power walls of cigarettes at the point-of-sale may also tempt recent quitters to relapse."
"More than half of long-term smokers will die of a smoking caused-disease, so in light of these findings we urge all jurisdictions to develop legislation to remove tobacco displays from sight in retail stores."
Key findings of the study include:
· Thirty-eight per cent of smokers who had tried to quit in the past 12 months and 34% of recent quitters experienced an urge to buy cigarettes as a result of seeing the retail cigarette display.
· Among the smokers who had tried to quit in the past 12 months and experienced an urge to buy cigarettes when seeing the cigarette display, 61% bought cigarettes, even though they were trying to quit.
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