Retailers say Tobacco Display Ban will Hit Sales

What are your views on the impact of the tobacco display ban on retailers or consumers? Tobacco retailers here say the ban will hit their business.

While they understand the Government's position and will work with authorities to ensure a smooth roll-out, some are unsure if they have enough time to adjust to the new rules.

A lead-time of at least 18 months would be "ideal" instead of the given 12-month grace period, said convenience store chain 7-Eleven. It is facing tight labour constraints, and also said retailers will likely be using the same pool of renovation contractors to prepare for the changes.

Though supermarket chain Sheng Siong said it is too early to say how much impact the ban would have on revenue, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry hopes that the Ministry of Health can extend more help to retailers.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor suggested that retailers can consider offsetting compliance costs by implementing productivity improvement solutions supported by the authorities.

American tobacco giant Philip Morris Singapore said it does not support regulation "that imposes unnecessary impediments to the operation of the legitimate tobacco market". 

But doctors here were all for the ban. A study last year also found that smoking rates among young people in parts of Australia dropped from 15 to 11 per cent between 2010 and 2012 after such bans came into force.

Share your thoughts with us!

Source: “Tobacco display ban will affect sales, retailers say” (The Straits Times, 11 Dec 2015)

Next Asean Members Commit To Upholding Multilateralism