'Hiding' Cigarettes in Stores Is the Most Ridiculous Anti-Smoking Idea Ever

Eye Roll 11

cigarette machineOut of sight, out of mind? Um, maybe that concept works with little kids and candy (if those little kids are easily distracted), but I have a hard time believing it's gonna work with New Yorkers and cigarettes. You know who DOES think it's gonna work? Mayor Bloomberg. Of course. Having effectively made getting large quantities of soda pop at one time inconvenient, Bloomberg has now shifted his focus to cigarettes: Under the Tobacco Product Display Bill, most stores would be prohibited from displaying cigarettes in plain sight, forced to "hide" them under a counter or in a cabinet.

If the ban passes, it will be the "first of its kind in America." But Bloomberg hopes it won't be the last: "Such displays suggest smoking is a normal activity and invite young people to experiment with tobacco," he says. Um, whatever gets you through the night, Bloomberg.

Seriously, who is he kidding? First of all, "young" people (younger than 18, that is) aren't allowed to buy cigarettes in NYC anyway, and most stores do card suspiciously baby-faced types. Secondly, if he thinks people who are already habitual smokers will be deterred by having to ask the cashier for a pack of menthols ... well, they have to do that already! Because even though the smokes in NYC stores are currently visible, they're still behind the counter. (Considering a pack of cigs costs approximately 8 bazillion dollars, store owners have to do something to discourage shoplifting.)

Hey, come to think of it, if Bloomberg really wants to discourage young people from smoking, why doesn't he just jack the price of a pack of cigarettes up another 5 or 10 bucks? That would probably be way more effective than making everybody play Hide & Go Smoke.

Do you think prohibiting stores from displaying cigarettes "in plain sight" will discourage smoking?


Image via Beatrice Murch/Flickr

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RockC... RockChic82

Let's not give Bloomberg any ideas! Lol...

zandh... zandhmom2

That man is dangerous with his power.  I hope New Yorkers will realize this and not re-elect him any more!

Pinkmani Pinkmani

Why won't Bloomberg work on the fact that the majority of NYC kids can't read well enough for community college? 

bills... billsfan1104

Bloomberg is on a power trip and he is focusing on trivial shit

poshkat poshkat

What an idiot. How is he still mayor? How about we focus on important things like education and cleaning up the streets. What's next? Lets ban smoking in the city all together, lets ban people from getting a certain amount of food at certain times of day. Wow.

jessy... jessyroos

This has been law in Canada for a couple of years. First they added large, graphic pictures of diseased lungs and people dying of cancer, with specific warnings of the effects of cigarettes. Then they put them behind the counter. It is true that not being bombarded by imagery and advertising can reduce the feeling of need, especially in those who may have just begun smoking. It certainly doesn't hurt anyone to put them away.

In Australia, they did that years ago and have now moved on to forcing companies to package in uniform packages with plain text. No more branding is allowed in Australia, and they have added a sizable sin tax. Guess what the result is? Fewer people are smoking. Fewer people are suffering from terrible and preventable diseases. How is that a bad thing?

Ally Swarrow

8 bazillion?! Damn, I wish writers at TheStir didn't write like 6 year olds.

nonmember avatar Colleen

Jessyroos is right - This concept is called Dark Markets and has been employed in Canada for years. And it has been effective in reducing tobacco use, especially in those underage.

Personally, I support anything that reduces smoking. My feelings about it are that yes, you smokers have the right to choose to destroy your lungs if you choose. But until you can do so without 2nd and 3rd hand smoke, both of which have been determined to cause significant health risks to ME, I cannot and will not support your right to do so.

vball... vbally101

I agree with Jessyroos and Colleen - also purely from a non-smoker's stance. I hated going into a store and seeing the very graphic pictures (so gross), so now that they're hidden, it bodes well for me.

Bloom... Bloomie79

Apparently marketing as a concept has been lost on you, yes moving a product out of site will reduce usage. Reducing cigarette usage is good. It's that simple.

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