23 Jul 2012

Cigarette display ban takes effect

3:19 pm on 23 July 2012

Legislation banning the display of cigarettes at retail outlets has taken effect and shopkeepers who fail to comply face a fine of up to $10,000.

From Monday, retailers must keep all tobacco products out of public view.

Anti-tobacco campaigners are hailing the ban as a victory, saying research has shown the colourful stands of cigarettes appeal to children and people trying to quit.

But the Retailers Association says it's concerned that the requirement to keep cigarettes under the counter or locked away in cabinets could, in fact, create a security risk for retailers.

It says it could present an opening for opportunist thieves to steal items when shop staff are busy getting cigarette packets from a locked-away area.

The Ministry of Health says it is committed to making New Zealand smoke free by 2025.

The ban will be policed by enforcement officers working on behalf of district health boards.