Visibility of tobacco products and advertisement at the point of sale: a systematic audit of retailers in Amsterdam

Paulien A. W. Nuyts*, Mirte A. G. Kuipers, Alp Cakir, Marc C. Willemsen, Eleonore M. Veldhuizen, Anton E. Kunst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


Objectives Visibility of tobacco products at the point of sale (PoS), in settings where open display of tobacco is allowed, is one of the last remaining ways in which the tobacco industry can legally promote their products. The aim of this study was to map the visibility of tobacco products and advertisement both inside and outside retailers, among different types of retailers.

Setting The study was conducted in two districts in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Participants All potential tobacco retailers were visited within the districts, and were mapped using Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates.

Intervention Observational data was collected for each tobacco retailer using a checklist with characteristics of the internal and external visibility of tobacco products and advertisement. Retailers were categorised into supermarkets, hospitality industry, tobacconists and 'other retailers' (convenience stores, office supply stores, gas stations, drug stores and telephone communication stores). Data were collected in April-May 2017.

Results Eighty-two tobacco retailers were identified. Among all retailers, 52.4% had external and 91.5% internal visibility of tobacco products. Tobacconists had the highest level of internal and external visibility of tobacco products (both 100%), followed by 'other retailers' (100% and 56% respectively) and supermarkets (79% and 47%, respectively). Retailers in the hospitality industry had low external visibility (28%), but high internal visibility (90%), as 83% sold tobacco through vending machines.

Conclusion Visibility of tobacco products was high among all types of retailers, including those previous studies show are commonly visited by youth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022017
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018



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