Retailers will no longer be allowed to display tobacco products, except when restocking or making a sales transaction

On 9 Dec, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that cigarettes and other tobacco products would have to be stored out of sight at all times, with the help of storage units that are either installed with sliding blinds or an opaque covering.

This ban will kick in from 2017, after a one-year grace period for retailers to comply with the regulations.



Consumers will instead be presented with a text-only price list when they wish to make a purchase.

A little bit like buying skimmed milk without knowing if the shop even sells milk



Sounds very much like browsing through without a catalogue? That’s what we think too.

The storage units that will be housing the tobacco products would have to be of similar colour to the interior walls of the retail outlets, and not in a colour that draws attention to it.

Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health said that the rationale behind the measure is to protect non-smokers, especially the youth from picking up smoking due to the promotional effect of point of sale displays, and to “create a better environment for smokers who are trying to quit.”

The question now is: Will the act of covering up make cigarettes more of a novelty to the youth, or will it actually serve its intended purpose of protecting them from the promotional effect of the displays?

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Featured image via Wikimedia
With reference to The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia