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Smoker sensitivity to retail tobacco displays and quitting: a cohort study


Melanie Wakefield, Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, The Cancer Council Victoria, 1 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia. E-mail:


Aims  To assess whether sensitivity to point of sale (POS) cigarette displays influences quitting behaviour.

Design  Prospective cohort study.

Setting  Victoria, Australia.

Participants  A total of 222 adult smokers were surveyed at baseline in 2006 and followed-up 18 months later.

Measurements  Baseline sensitivity to POS displays, which included the frequency of ‘noticing displays’, ‘impulse purchasing behaviour’ and ‘deciding on brand based on POS displays’; smoking status at follow-up.

Findings  At follow-up, 17.0% were no longer smokers. After adjusting for covariates, compared to those with low POS display sensitivity, smokers who had a medium or high level of sensitivity to POS displays were significantly less likely to have quit at follow-up [odds ratio (OR) = 0.32, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.14–0.74; OR = 0.27, 95% CI = 0.08–0.91, respectively].

Conclusions  The presence of cigarette pack displays in stores may make it more difficult for smokers to quit smoking successfully.

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