Retail tobacco displays make it tougher to quit

Tobacco advertising displays may be undermining smokers' attempts to give up and tempting former smokers to resume smoking, research by Professor of Marketing Janet Hoek has found.

Professor Hoek and Dr Heather Gifford from Massey and Gill Pirikahu from Whakauae Research interviewed 20 people who had attempted to stop smoking in the previous six to eight months half of whom had taken up smoking again to find out what effect retail displays had on them.

The research was part of a project led by Associate Professor Richard Edwards and Dr George Thomson from Otago University's Wellington School of Medicine and commissioned by the Cancer Society and the anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health. The two organisations want the Government to ban displays of cigarettes and other tobacco products in shops.

Professor Hoek says some study participants felt displays made them purchase tobacco or made them feel they were missing out on something if they saw a brand they formerly smoked.

"It was quite clear from what many people said that not having displays would create an environment that made quitting easier," she says.

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