Tobacco products will no longer be displayed in stores in Singapore by 2017, said the Ministry of Health yesterday (9 Dec). Retailers will have to keep tobacco products out of sight and hand them to customers only upon request.
Laws to effect the ban are expected to be amended by mid-2016 and retailers will be given a one-year grace period to comply with the new regulations.
The possibility of a tobacco point-of-sale display (POSD) ban was raised in 2013, aimed at deterring youths from picking up the habit and helping smokers kick the habit. 14 dialogue sessions with various stakeholders have been conducted since then.
Based on feedback from retailers, additional provisions have been made, such as allowing text-only price list to be shown to customers upon request.
Speaking at a dialogue session with tobacco retailers yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor said that while smoking rates have gone down from 18.3 per cent in 1992 to 13.3 per cent in 2013, smoking rates among young men are still high and the rates among young women are creeping up. Studies have shown that the display of tobacco products has a very strong promotional effect and can influence non-smokers to try out cigarettes.
Source: “No more shop displays of tobacco items by 2017” (The Straits Times, 10 Dec 2015); “Ban on display of tobacco products to take effect in 2017” (TODAY, 10 Dec 2015)
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