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Removal of tobacco displays helps reduce smoking, says study

Removal of point-of-sale (POS) tobacco displays from shops including convenience stores and gas stations has helped reduce smoking among New Zealand school students to record low levels, according to a recent University of Otago study.

The research, published in the international journal Tobacco Control, used an annual classroom-based survey of around 25,000 Year 10 students in the country and compared findings from an earlier study conducted before the tobacco display ban took effect in the country in 2012.

“The proportion of children who had tried smoking but were not regular smokers fell, from 23-24% in 2011 and 2012 before the changes, to 17% in 2014. The proportion of smoking students who were buying or trying to buy cigarettes from stores also declined,” stated the research.

The reductions both in experimental and regular smoking considered at their lowest level for two decades were attributed to “the removal of point-of-sale (POS) tobacco displays, accompanied by increased enforcement measures and penalties for selling tobacco to minors.”

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