Point of sale display ban in Scotland: retailers' views of the effects on customer transactions, sales, youth and feelings about selling tobacco
More details
Hide details
University of Stirling, United Kingdom
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A184
Download abstract book (PDF)

In April 2015, point of sale (POS) displays of tobacco products were prohibited in small retail outlets in Scotland. Retailers had several years to prepare for the ban. As part of the DISPLAY (Determining Impact of Smoking Point-of-Sale Legislation Among Youth) study, retailers was interviewed annually for 5 years pre- and post-implementation of the ban to explore their perceptions of its anticipated and actual impact on customer transactions, sales and profitability, young people's interest in tobacco, and their own feelings about selling tobacco.

A cohort sample of 24 small retailers in four communities in central Scotland was recruited and interviewed annually over a 5-year period (2013-2017). Interviews were conducted in-store and lasted between 30-60 minutes. Transcript data were coded in NVivo and themes analysed both at each wave and longitudinally.

Initial expectations regarding the implementation and impact of the ban were largely negative. However, actual implementation was straightforward for most of the retailers, compliance was high, and concerns about a negative impact on customer transactions were largely unfounded. Retailers were divided in their views of the ban's impact, with some feeling it made no difference and others that it had contributed to decreasing customer interest in premium brands and reduced sales. Some perceived that the ban also reduced young people's interest in tobacco. Some retailers experienced increased tobacco company contact and pressure after the ban, which fostered feelings of ambivalence regarding their role in selling tobacco.

Countries considering POS bans can benefit from studying retailer experiences in countries which have implemented bans. Display bans can be implemented with minimal retailer burden and do not, contrary to industry arguments, adversely affect transaction times. The implementation of such bans and corresponding tobacco industry pressure on retailers may increase retailers' willingness to reduce their reliance on tobacco.

Journals System - logo
Scroll to top