13 Oct 2009
Greater exposure to point-of-sale (POS) tobacco advertising displays are leading to an increase in youth smoking, a recent study published in Tobacco Control has found.
According to the study’s authors, this is the first study that explores the association between exposure to POS tobacco displays and smoking uptake in a jurisdiction where POS is the only form of tobacco promotion.
The study was conducted in New Zealand where approximately 28,000 students (age 14 or 15) were asked about their exposure to tobacco advertisements and their smoking status.
Study findings are:
• Two-thirds of the students visited stores where tobacco products were prominently displayed at least two to three times a week. Most students said they ‘always’ or ‘most times’ noticed cigarettes in these settings.
• Among students who never smoked, those who visited the stores at least two to three times a week were twice as likely to report that they might smoke in the future than students who visited the stores less than once a week.
• Youth exposure to tobacco POS displays is strongly associated with smoking experimentation with and current youth smoking rates.
The study also recommends that POS displays be part of a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
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