The United Kingdom is taking more stringent steps to curb the tobacco industry’s advertising reach. They are making health warnings the most prominent part of the packaging by eliminating color schemes and logos on the pack.
They are also considering the possibility of implementing a ban on cigarette displays as well. The UK’s Health secretary, Andrew Lansley, plans to make an announcement about the legislation to coincide with national No Smoking Day today.
Shop owners who are concerned about the costs of covering up displays are voicing opposition to the legislation citing the lack of evidence that the policy is effective. “Plain packaging will have an impact on shops that needs to be properly understood but there is no evidence that it would help cut smoking,” says Shane Brennan from the Association of Convenience Stores. “Covering up the displays would pass significant costs and operational burdens on shops.
But studies show that covering up cigarette display ads could change teen’s attitude about smoking. A study in Ireland, a country whose government who outlawed displays and vending machines, says that 59 percent fewer teens could recall seeing a tobacco display and 38 percent said it would keep kids from smoking.
Sources: UK News, Los Angeles Times