Keeping tobacco products out of view at stores can cut teens' smoking risk

Keeping tobacco products out of view at stores can cut teens
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Keeping tobacco products out of view in convenience stores may significantly reduce teenagers\' susceptibility to future cigarette use, a new study has found.

Keeping tobacco products out of view in convenience stores may significantly reduce teenagers' susceptibility to future cigarette use, a new study has found.


The study conducted by the US-based non-profit organisation RAND Corporation found an 11 per cent reduction in cigarette smoking susceptibility when the tobacco 'power wall' was hidden compared to when the display of tobacco products was visible behind the cashier.

Power walls are usually positioned behind the cashier. In the current study, researchers created a power wall consistent with what would normally be found in a typical convenience store.

"These findings suggest limiting the visibility of tobacco displays in retail stores may reduce the number of young people who try cigarettes," said William Shadel, associate director of RAND Population Health Programme.

The study is the first to use a realistic setting to examine whether limiting displays of cigarettes and other tobacco products in retail outlets can reduce the intention of young people to begin smoking.

A total of 241 adolescents aged 11 and 17 participated in the study, regardless of past tobacco use. The teens were told the study was looking at adolescent convenience store shopping habits.

Researchers had teens visit a replica of a convenience store to do shopping while the tobacco power wall was in one of three random locations: behind the cashier, on a sidewall away from the cashier or hidden behind a screen.

Moving the power-wall to a less obvious location did not have any effect.

Teens filled out a post-shopping experience questionnaire to determine their attitude towards smoking and their susceptibility to future smoking.

Researchers found hiding the tobacco power wall significantly reduced teenagers' susceptibility to future cigarette smoking compared to leaving the tobacco advertising visible.

Moving the power wall to a less-obvious location did not have any effect.

The findings were published in the journal Tobacco Control.

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