Saturday, March 17, 2012

N.Y. County Hopes to Enact First U.S. Tobacco Display Ban

Convenience store customers in Madison County, N.Y., may soon see no tobacco at their local c-store. The county's eight-member Board of Health is in the process of developing a display ban that would require all tobacco products to be hidden from view, according to the Oneida Daily Dispatch. The measure is intended to reduce adolescents' exposure to tobacco.
Display bans have been enacted in other countries, including Canada, Ireland and Norway. Madison County Department of Health Director Eric Faisst said such a ban hasn’t been attempted anywhere else in the United States, that he’s aware of at least. "The Madison County Board of Health has a strong interest in protecting adolescents from tobacco dependence and subsequent illnesses and premature death associated with tobacco use," John Endres, president of the Board of Health, said in a written statement. He noted that research shows 90 percent of smokers took up the habit before the age of 18 and that tobacco product displays are a contributing factor.
"Research shows that preventing the display of tobacco products, separate and apart from tobacco advertising, will lead to a significant decrease in the number of adolescents becoming addicted to tobacco products," Endres said.
Stores that are open to minors would have to comply with the ban, but the exact method would be up to store owners. Tobacco products could be kept under counters, in storage rooms or anywhere else that customers cannot easily view

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