Ford A, MacKintosh AM, Moodie C, Kuipers M, Hastings G & Bauld L (2020) Impact of a ban on the open display of tobacco products in retail outlets on never smoking youth in the UK: findings from a repeat cross-sectional survey before, during and after implementation. Tobacco Control, 29 (3), pp. 282-288. https://doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2018-054831
Background In the UK, a ban on the open display of tobacco products at the point of sale (POS) was phased in between 2012 and 2015. We explored any impact of the ban on youth before, during and after implementation. Methods A repeat cross-sectional in-home survey with young people aged 11-16 years old in the UK was conducted preban (2011, n=1373), mid-ban (2014, n=1205) and postban (2016, n=1213). The analysis focuses on the never-smokers in the sample (n=2953 in total). Preban, we quantified the associations of noticing cigarettes displayed at POS and cigarette brand awareness with smoking susceptibility. We measured any change in noticing cigarettes displayed at POS, cigarette brand awareness and smoking susceptibility between preban, mid-ban and postban. Postban, we assessed support for a display ban, perceived appeal of cigarettes and perceived acceptability of smoking as a result of closed displays. Results Preban, noticing cigarettes displayed at POS (adjusted OR [AOR]=1.97, 95% CI 1.30 to 2.98) and higher brand awareness (AOR=1.15, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.29) were positively associated with smoking susceptibility. The mean number of brands recalled declined from 0.97 preban to 0.69 postban (p < 0.001). Smoking susceptibility decreased from 28% preban to 23% mid-ban and 18% postban (p for trend < 0.001). Postban, 90% of never-smokers supported the display ban and indicated that it made cigarettes seem unappealing (77%) and made smoking seem unacceptable (87%). Conclusions Both partial and full implementation of a display ban were followed by a reduction in smoking susceptibility among adolescents, which may be driven by decreases in brand awareness.
Tobacco Control: Volume 29, Issue 3