Aim To evaluate the short-term impacts of removing point-of-sale tobacco displays in Ireland, implemented in July 2009.
Methods Retailer compliance was assessed using audit surveys in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Using a monthly survey of 1000 adults carried out since 2002, changes in smoking prevalence were assessed; attitudes were measured using extra questions added for a 10-month period before and after the law. Youth responses were assessed using a cohort of 180 13–15 year olds, interviewed in June and August 2009.
Results Immediately following implementation, compliance was 97%. Support for the law increased among adults after implementation (58% Apr-Jun vs 66% Jul-Dec, p<0.001). Recall of displays decreased significantly for adults (49% to 22%; p<0.001), more so among teenagers (81% to 22%; p<0.001). There were no significant short-term changes in prevalence among youths or adults. The proportion of youths believing more than a fifth of children their age smoked decreased from 62% to 46%, p<0.001). Post-legislation, 14% of adult smokers thought the law had made it easier to quit smoking and 38% of teenagers thought it would make it easier for children not to smoke.
Conclusions Compliance was very high and the law was well supported. Recall of displays dropped significantly among adults and teenagers post-legislation and there were encouraging signs that the law helped de-normalise smoking.
- Advertising and Promotion
- public opinion polls
- public policy
- tobacco products
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Funding Office of Tobacco Control, Ireland; Cancer Research Uk; Irish Cancer Society, ASH New Zealand.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.