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Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Jul;17(7):761-8. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu180. Epub 2014 Oct 5.

Out of Sight and Out of Mind? Evaluating the Impact of Point-of-Sale Tobacco Display Bans on Smoking-Related Beliefs and Behaviors in a Sample of Australian Adolescents and Young Adults.

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Cancer Institute NSW, Eveleigh, NSW, Australia;
School of Public Health, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia;
Cancer Institute NSW, Eveleigh, NSW, Australia;
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



The Australian states of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland implemented bans on tobacco pack displays at point-of-sale (PoS) in July 2010 and November 2011, respectively. This study evaluated the medium-term impact of the bans on youth.


Data were drawn from the Tobacco Promotion Impact Study, a repeated cross-sectional survey of youth (12-24 years) in NSW and Queensland conducted yearly 2010-2012 (n = 6,014). Regression analyses examined differences in youth's recall of PoS tobacco displays, smoking-related beliefs, and smoking behaviors in relation to the timing of the PoS display bans.


Recall of PoS tobacco displays was significantly less likely for youth interviewed after the bans versus before (OR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.39, 0.52, p < .01). They were also less likely to report tobacco brand awareness (OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.62, 0.92, p < .01), to over-estimate peer smoking (OR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.74, 0.96, p < .01), or be current smokers (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.55, 0.96, p < .05). Stratified analyses showed that these differences were primarily apparent in the group of youth most likely to be affected by tobacco PoS displays: those who visit tobacco retailers most frequently. After the bans, smokers were less likely to report that they think about smoking as a result of seeing PoS tobacco displays (OR = 0.60, 95% CI = 0.37, 0.97, p < .039).


Our findings suggest an immediate impact of display bans on youth's exposure to tobacco pack displays, and likely impacts on smoking-related outcomes. These results suggest that removing tobacco displays from retail environments can positively contribute to the denormalization of smoking among youth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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