In sight, in mind: retailer compliance with legislation on limiting retail tobacco displays

Nicotine Tob Res. 2008 Aug;10(8):1347-54. doi: 10.1080/14622200802238860.


We investigated retailer compliance with point-of-sale display legislation, using a New Zealand region as a case study. An observational survey was conducted of nonspecialist tobacco retailers in the lower North Island of New Zealand during 2006. Compliance was assessed in relation to store type (dairies, convenience stores, supermarkets, and service stations) and by characteristics of the population of the census area unit in which the store was situated. These characteristics include the level of socioeconomic deprivation and proportions of Maori (indigenous New Zealanders), Pacific Islanders, and children aged less than 19 years. Out of the 288 stores surveyed, 185 (64%) had at least one breach of the point-of-sale regulations. The most common breaches were a failure to display a "Smoking Kills" sign, visibility of tobacco from outside the premises, and displaying tobacco less than 1 m from children's products. Compliance was significantly worse in dairies (small local general stores) and convenience stores. Stores situated in areas in the top quartile for the proportion of children were much more likely to have high levels of noncompliance (> or =3 breaches) and to display tobacco products close to children's products. This study is one of very few to systematically investigate retailer compliance with point-of-sale display regulations for tobacco products. The results suggest that the implementation of legislation to partly limit retail displays of tobacco products can be difficult. A ban on retail displays of tobacco products is likely to be a more effective and enforceable policy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advertising / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Advertising / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Public Policy
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Facilitation*
  • Social Responsibility*
  • Tobacco Industry / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Young Adult