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Complete ban on all POS advertising needed in Ukraine

Blatant cigarette promotion at a Ukraine POSThe Smoke Free Ukraine Project is calling on the country’s government to completely ban all cigarette pack displays from points of sales (POS).

The move follows a recent monitoring project carried out by the Regional Advocacy Center (Life) and Smoke Free Ukraine Coalition (SFUC).

Monitoring found that although tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) law enforcement remained high there were still many ‘gray’ zones of the law that allowed certain types of sales promotions.

The project found that two of the most popular ‘gray’ zones were product placement and display designs that attracted the attention of consumers at POS. It also uncovered more creative ways that were being used in display cases at checkouts to differentiate and highlight cigarette packs.

Project Coordinator Andriy Skipalskyi said those examples of tobacco product sales promotions fell under the guidelines of Article 13 of the  Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

“The problem is that certain types of sales promotions are in the ‘gray zone’ of law regulation so are not considered direct violations of the law by national regulatory authorities, courts and tobacco business”, Skipalskyi said.

Complete ban needed

“We will propose to Parliament a complete ban on the display of cigarette packs in POS because this is the most effective way to stop tobacco products exposure to youth and children, and further the reduction of smoking prevalence,” he added.

During the project, volunteers visited more than 1,000 POS in Kyiv and 14 other cities. The monitoring covered all types of POS such as kiosks (53 percent), shops and mini-markets (29 percent), and supermarkets (18 percent).

While the project found that TAPS law enforcement remained very high at 99.7 percent, other forms of tobacco sales promotion that were not clearly listed by the law were being used such as:

  • 77 percent of POS had special equipment, and displays in showcases and checkout areas to attract attention to certain brands of cigarettes;
  • 31 percent of POS had colorful stickers with the price and/or trade accessories featuring the colours and shapes that resembled tobacco brands;
  • At 5 percent of POS, sales representatives were informing customers about new types and brands of cigarettes;
  • 92 percent placed cigarette packs on the side to show only the text warning and not the graphic warning label.

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