Shop owners say hidden cigarettes won't stop sales
Wellington dairy owners are reluctantly following the new laws on cigarette displays though they don't expect it to affect sales.
A law that came into effect today has banned tobacco retailers from displaying cigarettes and tobacco packs to the public, with most now hidden from view in white cupboards behind the counter.
At the Green Door Dairy in Miramar, owner Raju Patel said he didn't like smoking but cigarettes were always a big seller for his business. ''People are smoking...You can go and change the rules every year. It doesn't matter. There's no point in covering the cigarettes then opening the cover, people can still smoke."
Hataitai Four Square former owner Suresh Dayal said he couldn't see the new rules working. ''They are looking for the scapegoats. Trying to prove to the public that they are doing something about it. Whether it is Labour or National it doesn't matter.''
Mr Dayal had owned the shop for more than 30 years and last week sold it to his nephew. He didn't think the new law would stop people smoking.
Under the Smoke-free Environments Amendment Act, tobacco cannot be visible to the public in stores, prices can no longer be openly displayed and businesses cannot trade with names that advertise tobacco.
Dallington Superette owner Vijay Patel said everyone knew about the law so nobody had questioned him on the new display today. He said he wasn't worried about sales but he did support measures that promoted good health.
Strathmore dairy owner Anil Patel said he sold a lot of cigarettes and wasn't sure if the measures would affect sales at all.
''I have no idea if it will stop people smoking. The new rules come in. They say do it so I do it.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
Is John Banks' upcoming trial the end for the ACT party?Related story: Banks takes only viable option