Ban on tobacco display leads to lower sales: Study

Thiruvananthapuram, May 20 (IANS) An international tobacco control survey has found that a ban on tobacco advertisements, especially where tobacco is sold, leads to lower sales of cigarettes.

The study was published in Oxford journal ‘Health Education Research’ earlier this month. It was conducted by the International Tobacco Control Evaluation Project, the first-ever international cohort study of tobacco use initiated to measure the psychosocial and behavioural impact of policies of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Paul Sebastian, director, Regional Cancer Centre here and vice chairman, Tobacco Free Kerala, said: “Tobacco product advertisement with brand pack shots entices non-users to take up tobacco use besides tempting people trying to quit. Addicted users are prompted to use more tobacco products.”

He said the government should “clamp down on tobacco-product advertising”, especially where tobacco is sold, as banning advertisements “reduces impulse purchase of cigarettes”.

B. Satheesan, director, Malabar Cancer Centre said that even though the law prohibits display of tobacco products at selling points, “blatant violation is found across the state”.

“Tobacco advertising can have a deleterious effect on children and youth. Only a comprehensive and strictly enforced ban on advertising, promotions and sponsorships will help to reduce tobacco use among the youth. Canada and Australia have set an example by enforcing point-of-sale display bans. It is time that we implement the provisions of our law,” said Satheesan.

Section 5 of Indian Tobacco Control Law prohibits display tobacco products at shops and stores.

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