Smoking and cigarette brand awareness decreases

SMOKING rates among young people aged 12-24 years fell from 15% to 11% in the two years following the ban on displaying tobacco at the point-of-sale, according to a new report to be released today. 

The report, commissioned by the Cancer Institute NSW and published in the Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research, showed a decline in cigarette brand awareness following the point-of-sale tobacco ban in New South Wales in 2010 and Queensland in 2011.

The report revealed the number of young people able to recall at least one brand fell from 65% to 59%.

Cancer Institute NSW chief executive Professor David Currow said it had long been suggested that tobacco product displays effectively advertise tobacco brands.

He said exposure to these displays and tobacco marketing was associated with smoking susceptibility and smoking uptake among youth.

"Point-of-sale tobacco bans are contributing to the de-normalisation of smoking, particularly among youth, who we know are most at risk of being influenced by the power of tobacco branding," he said.

"This report demonstrates that point-of-sale display bans, as part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy, are effective.

"This report joins the mounting evidence that demonstrates our world-leading plain packaging, smoke-free policies and mass media campaigns are making an impact."


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