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Support for removal of point-of-purchase tobacco advertising and displays: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Canada survey
  1. Abraham Brown1,2,
  2. Christian Boudreau3,
  3. Crawford Moodie1,
  4. Geoffrey T Fong4,5,
  5. Grace Y Li6,
  6. Ann McNeill2,
  7. Mary E Thompson3,
  8. Louise M Hassan7,
  9. Andrew Hyland8,
  10. James F Thrasher9,10,
  11. Hua-Hie Yong11,
  12. Ron Borland11,
  13. Gerard Hastings1,
  14. David Hammond12
  1. 1Centre for Tobacco Control Research, Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
  2. 2UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, Clinical Sciences Building, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  3. 3Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Ontario, Canada
  6. 6Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  7. 7Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK
  8. 8Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA
  9. 9Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
  10. 10Department of Tobacco Research, Center for Population Health Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, México
  11. 11VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control, Cancer Council Victoria, Carlton, Australia
  12. 12School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Abraham Brown, Centre for Tobacco Control Research, Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK; akb2{at}


Background Although most countries now have at least some restrictions on tobacco marketing, the tobacco industry meet these restrictions by re-allocating expenditure to unregulated channels, such as at point-of-purchase.

Methods Longitudinal data from 10 Canadian provinces in the International Tobacco Control Survey was analysed to examine adult smokers' support for a ban on tobacco advertising and displays in stores and whether this support is associated with noticing either advertising or displays in stores, and quit intentions, over time. In total, there were 4580 respondents in wave 5 (October 2006 to February 2007), wave 6 (September 2007 to February 2008) and wave 7 (October 2008 to June 2009). The surveys were conducted before, during and in some cases after the implementation of display bans in most Canadian provinces and territories.

Results Smokers in all provinces showed strong support for a ban on tobacco displays over the study period. Levels of support for an advertising and display ban were comparable between Canadian provinces over time, irrespective of whether they had been banned or not. Noticing tobacco displays and signs in-store was demonstrably less likely to predict support for display (OR=0.73, p=0.005) and advertising (OR=0.78, p=0.02) ban, respectively. Smokers intending to quit were more likely to support advertising and display bans over time.

Conclusion This study serves as a timely reminder that the implementation of tobacco control measures, such as the removal of tobacco displays, appear to sustain support among smokers, those most likely to oppose such measures.

  • Tobacco marketing
  • point-of-purchase
  • longitudinal
  • multiprovince
  • packaging and labelling
  • smokeless tobacco products
  • young adults
  • tobacco products
  • environmental tobacco smoke
  • advertising and promotion
  • social psychology
  • research methods
  • psychosocial theories
  • primary healthcare
  • tobacco product regulation
  • cessation
  • harm reduction
  • health services
  • smoking-caused disease
  • prevalence
  • taxation and price
  • public policy
  • health communication
  • media campaigns
  • qualitative study
  • public opinion polls
  • advocacy
  • older people and smoking
  • end game
  • smoking topography
  • population health
  • nicotine reduction in cigarettes

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  • Funding The research was funded by grants from the US National Cancer Institute/NIH (from the Roswell Park Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC), P50 CA111236 and from R01 CA100362), the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (57897), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (045734), the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (265903), Cancer Research UK (C312/A3726), the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation of the National Cancer Institute of Canada/Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board or Research Ethics Board at the University of Stirling (Scotland), the Open University (UK), University of Waterloo (Canada), Roswell Park Cancer Institute (US), University of Illinois, Chicago (US), and The Cancer Council Victoria (Australia).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.