Seeking to prevent impulse purchases, the government of Norway has prohibited retailers from publicly displaying cigarettes in stores, but tobacco company Philip Morris is going to court in an attempt to overturn the ban.
AFP reported March 9 that the ban on cigarette displayed went into effect in Norway on Jan. 1; Ireland has imposed a similar ban. Norwegian retailers must now keep cigarettes in closed cases and cannot display brand labels.
“Display bans have had no impact on reducing smoking in the countries that have implemented them, a fact acknowledged by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services,” said Philip Morris spokesperson Anne Edwards. “These regulations prevent adult consumers from seeing the available product range and overly restrict competition.”
Norwegian government health official Bjoern-Inge Larsen said the lawsuit “shows that we are on the right track.”
“If Philip Morris really felt the ban would not reduce the consumption of tobacco they would not worry about this law,” said Larsen. “On the contrary, I think this legal action is an indication that the ban will contribute to reducing tobacco consumption in the long term.”