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Action On Smoking And Health (ASH) NZ And The Cancer Society Of NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Action On Smoking And Health (ASH) NZ And The Cancer Society Of NZ

20 February 2009 - Report shows tobacco display regulations too complex.

A new report shows two-thirds of retailers surveyed breach at least one point of sale restriction on the display of tobacco.

The observational study of 78 shops near schools in the Auckland region checked compliance with current tobacco display regulations.

"Removing the display of tobacco makes sense not only from a health point of view, but from a practical point as well. There would be no ambiguity for shopkeepers about their obligations," said ASH director Ben Youdan.

"Many shops find the law complex and small business owners often don't have the support systems that large companies do, this is one reason why the survey shows only 10 percent of dairies surveyed complied with the law," said Mr Youdan.

Cancer Society tobacco control advisor, Belinda Keenan, said removing the tobacco displays would end the confusion around the regulations.

"The majority of New Zealanders, including smokers, want tobacco out of sight in shops. The benefits of a display ban will also be felt by youth, ex-smokers and smokers who make a quit attempt," said Mrs Keenan.

The amendment to the Smokefree Environments Act that saw smoking banned in bars from December 2004 also restricted the display of tobacco at the point of sale. Restrictions include; limiting the display of tobacco to 100 packages, not permitting displays on the counter-top, not displaying tobacco within one metre of confectionary and a requirement that tobacco products may not be visible from outside the retailer's place of business.

Last year parliament's health committee recommended legislation to ban on tobacco displays after considering a petition signed by more than 20,000 people in support of a ban.

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