Ban's effect may be limited

I have reservations about the effectiveness of the point-of-sale display ban ("No more shop displays of tobacco items by 2017"; yesterday).

If the display of tobacco products can influence non-smokers to try out cigarettes, then more out-of-sight areas should be explored.

It is common to observe smokers placing their packets of cigarettes on the table as they dine at foodcourts and hawker centres; others hold them in their hands while travelling in public transport.

People who are trying to quit smoking may find it difficult to do so when they see others puffing away in public places like bus stops and walkways.

Given that the smoking rate among young people is high, it is imperative that parents discourage their children from picking up or indulging in this unhealthy habit.

While the implementation of the ban may act as a deterrent, it does not help when tobacco products are still visible in public areas.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2015, with the headline 'Ban's effect may be limited'. Print Edition | Subscribe