Keeping tobacco products out of view in convenience stores significantly reduces teenagers' susceptibility to future cigarette use, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by the US-based non-profit organisation RAND Corporation, used a realistic setting to examine whether limiting displays of cigarettes and other tobacco products in retail outlets can reduce the intention of young people to begin smoking.
"The findings suggest limiting the visibility of tobacco displays in retail stores may reduce the number of young people who try cigarettes," said William Shadel, senior behavioural scientist at RAND.
Researchers found an 11 per cent reduction in cigarette smoking susceptibility.
For the study, the researchers had teenagers visit a replica of a convenience store to do shopping while the tobacco power wall was in one of three random locations: behind the cashier, on a sidewall away from the cashier or hidden behind a screen.
A total of 241 adolescents aged 11 and 17 participated in the study.
Researchers found hiding the tobacco power wall significantly reduced teenagers' susceptibility to future cigarette smoking compared to leaving the tobacco advertising visible.
In recent years, the tobacco industry has shifted most of its advertising from places such as magazines and billboards to point-of-sale advertising in retail locations.
The findings were published in the journal Tobacco Control.