E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

The Case for Banning Visible Displays of Tobacco Products in Retail Stores (#1018)

Rob Cunningham 1
  1. Canadian Cancer Society, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Background and Context:

While many countries have banned tobacco advertising, a smaller number of banned visible retail displays.  However, this is changing, with an increasing number of countries/jurisdictions banning retail tobacco displays.  Governments are responding to extensive tobacco industry marketing practices and expenditures that result in “power walls” and other product displays at retail.

International guidelines under Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control recognize that a ban on visible displays of tobacco products at retail is an essential element of a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising and promotion.


This presentation will make the case for banning visible displays of tobacco products at retail, and will discuss international developments in this area.


Retail displays of tobacco products encourage youth experimentation and initiation, discourage cessation, and encourage ex-smokers to relapse.  Retail displays portray tobacco products as innocuous everyday products.  The adage “out of sight, out of mind” applies in support of display bans.

The tobacco industry typically claims that its promotion only targets adult smokers, but this is impossible in the case of retail display bans.  Youth and ex-smokers are routinely exposed to retail displays.

Programme/Policy Process:

Worldwide, tobacco display bans have been implemented in a growing number of countries including Australia (all states/territories), British Virgin Islands, Canada (all provinces/territories), Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Mauritius (awaiting proclamation), New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Palau, Russia, Thailand, and United Kingdom.

Outcomes/What was learned:

Governments should ban visible displays of tobacco products as part of a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising and promotion.