Singapore tobacco sales displays to be banned

Singapore retailers selling tobacco products must hide them all from public view from 2017.

Under an amendment to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, it will be illegal for tobacco products to be openly on display in stores.

The new rule is also very proscriptive: the only exceptions will be if the storage unit is being restocked or if a store staff member is removing a packet to sell to a customer; an offence will be created if the staff member does something else (like pick another product from a nearby shelf) before covering tobacco stock up.

The law says the stock cabinets must have self closing covers and be opaque. They must be the same colour as the decor or interior walls of the store, however the colour must not draw attention to storage units.

Retailers now effectively have a year to modify existing display cases by installing covers, or fit new units which comply with the law.

In short, as adopted by other countries and about to be implemented in Macao, tobacco products need to be kept out of sight from the public at all times.

Singapore’s Health Ministry says it will allow a “text-only price list” in a standard format to inform customers and speed transactions but prevent misuse as a form of indirect advertising.

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