The risk for 11- to 16-year-old children in the UK taking up smoking has reduced since the introduction of the ban on open display advertising of tobacco products, according to a new study from the University of Stirling.
Published in the BMJ’s Tobacco Control and funded by Cancer Research UK, the repeat cross-sectional in-home survey was conducted with young people aged 11-16 years old in the UK at different timepoints: pre-ban (2011; n=1373), mid-ban (2014; n=1205) and post-ban (2016; n=1213). The analysis focused on never-smokers in the sample (n=2953).
The authors observed that pre-ban, noticing cigarettes displayed at the point of sale (POS) and higher brand awareness were positively associated with smoking susceptibility (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.97; 95% CI, 1.30-2.98 and aOR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.03-1.29, respectively). The mean number of brands recalled declined from 0.97 pre-ban to 0.69 post-ban (P<.001>
Smoking susceptibility decreased from 28 per cent pre-ban to 23 per cent mid-ban and 18 per cent post-ban (Ptrend
Post-ban, 90 per cent of never-smokers supported the display ban and indicated that it made cigarettes seem unappealing (77%) and made smoking seem unacceptable (87%).
Lead author, Dr Allison Ford, from Stirling's Institute for Social Marketing, said: "Our work confirms that placing tobacco out of sight helps safeguard young people. Our findings help to justify this policy approach in the UK and elsewhere."