In Supermarket News on 1 February Trina Snow reported on an Australian study by Davidson and De Silva showing “no empirical evidence” that plain packaging has reduced smoking. Her article, Key decisions looming on tobacco sales, focused largely on this research and concluded that pending decisions to be made here will have “a significant impact on how tobacco is displayed and sold in New Zealand supermarkets”. Her underlying implication was fairly clear; if not overtly enunciated. If plain packaging isn’t effective in reducing smoking rates, any new regulations in terms of sales and display will amount to a potentially costly waste of time for New Zealand supermarkets.
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