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Recommendation to ban tobacco retail displays

_Media Release

29 September 2008

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) NZ

ASH welcomes select committee recommendation to ban tobacco retail displays

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) welcomes the recommendation to ban tobacco retail displays published today by the health select committee. The committee recommended “Government introduce legislation to require tobacco and cigarette displays in retail outlets to be out of site”.

Earlier this year the Government sought submissions on whether to tighten restrictions on retail tobacco displays, including the option of banning them altogether.

“We are delighted that the committee is clearly putting the health of our children before the profits of the tobacco cartels. The evidence that these displays are tempting our kids into a life of addiction is overwhelming. This is yet another big step towards ridding New Zealand of tobacco displays for good” said Ben Youdan, ASH Director.

“ASH has long advocated for a removal of retail displays. Tobacco is not a regular product. It kills half the people who use it, yet for too long we have allowed these addictive and deadly poisons to be sold next to the milk and chocolates”. ”

Iceland, Thailand and parts of Canada have already proceeded with banning tobacco displays. Ireland and Tasmania have also decided to bring in a similar ban. In July this year the New South Wales Government announced plans to ban displays, along with smoking in cars.

“The banning of cigarette displays is a crucial in tackling youth smoking. The average age that Kiwi smokers start is 14.6 years old. Young people are the new ‘recruits’ the tobacco companies need to replace the 4,700 Kiwi’s who die every year from smoking. We know this ban will be effective – that’s why industry has been so vocally opposed to the idea – the displays are one of the last bastions of cigarette marketing”

Health researchers and health professionals in many countries have raised concerns about these displays, which are proven undermine restrictions on tobacco promotion, and encourage children to start smoking.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The full select committee report may be found at:
http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/5223BA87-7AFD-46E6-BBC6-FD8C0D3532AF/93860/DBSCH_SCR_4221_6293.pdf

In February 2008 a report commissioned by the Cancer Society of New Zealand and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), examined evidence documenting the effects of retail tobacco displays. Researchers from the University of Otago and Massey University released a report linking tobacco retail displays with tobacco purchasing behaviour.

The ASH year 10 survey of 27,000 15-16 year old Kiwi’s showed that those who visit stores with tobacco displays two to three times a week had double the odds of smoking than those who visit less than once a week.

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