Cigarette pack and advertising displays at point of purchase: Community demand for restrictions

Jacqueline A. Hickling, Caroline L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Tobacco promotion influences tobacco consumption. Traditional forms of tobacco promotion have been heavily restricted in response to the harmful effects of tobacco. Tobacco displays at the point of purchase are increasingly important as a means of communicating brand imagery for the tobacco industry, especially when advertising is restricted at these points. Previous research has demonstrated that children exposed to tobacco advertising at the point of purchase have inflated perceptions of availability, use and popularity of tobacco. Internationally, laws are being debated and implemented to prohibit or restrict the display of tobacco at the point of purchase or put tobacco out of sight. Such measures would reduce tobacco product exposure and, hence, tobacco marketing among youth and the community. In South Australia, a ban on all cigarette advertising at the point of purchase was introduced in 2005. This study was designed to assess community support for restrictions on cigarette displays and advertising at the point of purchase. A telephone survey was conducted with a random sample of 2026 South Australian adults (aged 18 years and over) in July 2005. Overall, 63% of the community approved of a hypothetical total ban on cigarette displays at the point of purchase, with over three-quarters believing this should happen in the next 12 months. A further 24% believed that cigarette displays should be restricted and 82% would approve of a ban on displays in stores that sell confectionary. Only 7% of adult smokers reported making their decision about the brand of cigarettes to buy at the point of purchase and 90% made their decision before they even entered the shop. The results strengthen arguments that cigarette displays are not necessary to maintain brand loyalty or to encourage brand switching of established smokers. Instead, the results make arguments more credible that cigarette displays normalize and promote smoking among young people and may also promote unplanned purchase or increased consumption among less frequent smokers or former smokers. Placing cigarettes out of sight would be unlikely to impact on brand choice for most smokers, who have already made up their mind before they enter the store.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Advertising
  • Brand preference
  • Cigarettes
  • Community support
  • Point-of-purchase displays
  • Tobacco


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