Sometimes, less is more. While honeymooning in the land down under, I came across these anti-smoking signs prominently displayed at retail stores throughout Sydney. I was struck by how simple and direct these signs were. No flashy graphics- just simply text: “Smoking Kills” along with cessation information. Another thing I liked was that an individual could only buy tobacco products from a specific register. I was curious as to when these policies were enacted- a quick search on Google led me to the New South Wales (NSW) Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008.
There were a few regulations that retailers had to comply by July 1, 2009:
- Retailers will only be allowed to sell tobacco products from one cash register at any time (the point of sale).
- Retailers will also have to change to health warning signs.
- Retailers must discontinue any shopper loyalty rewards and programs for the purchase of tobacco.
As I walked by various stores, I felt like something was missing, but I couldn’t put a finger on it. Finally I realized that there was no tobacco advertising or promotion anywhere! In the states, I’m so used to being visually bombarded with signs advertising the latest tobacco flavors or 2 packs for the price of 1 deals. While Australia still has a long way to go when it comes to passing tobacco control policies (one can still smoke at Sydney parks and playground, dining patios, etc), as a tourist, I certainly appreciate the steps that they have taken thus far, starting with the point of purchase.