From 2017, retailers of tobacco products will not be allowed to display them in their shops, the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday (Dec 9).
The ministry said it will move to ban stores from displaying such products after amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act are tabled in Parliament.
Retailers may choose to use existing storage units, modify them or install new storage units that are permanent, self-closing and opaque. They are to comply with the new requirements, whereby tobacco products need to be out of sight from the public at all times.
Exceptions will be made in the process of restocking the display unit or during a sales transaction, unless the staff carrying out these actions stops to do something else.
The Health Ministry said it is prepared to allow a text-only price list in a standard format, to facilitate transactions and ensure a level playing field while preventing misuse as a form of advertisement.
It added that it will allow storage units to be in the same colour as the decor or interior walls of the outlet, as long as the colour does not draw specific attention to storage units.
Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said on Wednesday that authorities will work with retailers to help them comply with the new legal guidelines.
“Even as we are implementing this to protect non-smokers – particularly our young – from the promotional effect of point-of-sale displays and to create a better environment for smokers who are trying to quit, we also want to work with tobacco retailers to try and help them reduce the inconveniences caused to businesses,” Dr Khor said.