Cigarettes to disappear in a cloud of smoke from NSW stores this New Year’s Eve

Media Release – 1 January 2010

Cancer Council says this New Year’s Eve is the ideal time to quit smoking as tempting cigarette displays begin to disappear from stores in a puff of smoke.

From January 1, tough new tobacco laws will kick in across NSW. Large stores will need to hide tobacco products from this date with smaller stores having to comply by 1 July 2010. After heavy lobbying by the tobacco industry, specialist tobacconist have been given a further 3 years to comply.

“New Year’s Day marks the beginning of a new era where people who have made the decision to quit can go to their local supermarket for groceries without having to face an enticing wall of tobacco advertising,” Wendy Oakes, Tobacco Control Manager at Cancer Council NSW said.

“Research shows that tobacco packaging remains a powerful form of advertising, especially to young people, so taking them out of sight will help to push tobacco out of mind of those people who have decided to quit the deadly habit.

“It’s not easy to give up. But, with smoking killing more than 15,000 Australians every year and leaving several thousands more with a range of disabilities, it’s worth the effort.”

Ms Oakes said that the secret to successful quitting is keep trying. “It can take up to 14 attempts for some people but we know that most people succeed in the end.”

The new legislation will ban tobacco displays from shops with more than 50 employees from 1 January. Shops will less than 50 employees have until June 1 to get rid of their tobacco displays.

“We’re pleased to see that some small stores have already taken the initiative and removed their tobacco displays. We applaud their contribution to improving the health of NSW residents and urge other stores not to wait to the last minute.

“Retail outlets need to remember that the tobacco products they sell kill one in two of their best tobacco customers.”

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Media contact:

Luke Alexander (02) 9334 1878 / 0413 886 578