AMSTERDAM, N.Y. — Bolder health warnings on cigarettes will have the same effect on kids as moves made by supermarket chains to shield them from tobacco messaging, Rebecca Guarino, director of the Project Action Tobacco-Free Coalition here told SN.
“Both strategies accomplish the same end since kids won’t be impacted by the glamorous image of cigarettes,” Guarino said.
Project Action has successfully convinced retailers like Hannaford Supermarkets and Price Chopper, Schenectady, N.Y., to obscure tobacco logos and advertising from children in some or all of their New York locations.
The tobacco sections in three of Hannaford's newest stores are partially concealed with a semi-opaque acrylic glass wall designed to shield young people from the images within, while Price Chopper lines the doors of many of its tobacco centers with double-thick opaque filters.
Project Impact hasn't been able to convince other tobacco retailers, like Wal-Mart, to do the same, Guarino said.
It remains to be seen whether tobacco merchandising practices change once images depicting the negative consequences of smoking are required along with new warning statements on cigarette packs and in advertisements come fall 2012.
The Tobacco Control Act requires that the warnings appear on at least 50% of the front and rear panels of cigarette packs and in at least 20% of every cigarette advertisement.