The new law, which came into effect in Croatia on 1 October, means retailers are no longer be able to display cigarettes behind the counter in view of the customer.
“Around 10,000 people die as a result of smoking every year in Croatia, that is the size of the town Makarska,” Health Minister Rajko Ostojic said before the new law came into effect, stressing that the new law is aimed at reducing the number of smokers amongst the nation’s youth. Some disagree, however, that the new law will achieve that.
The Kiosk Association does not think the new law will make a dent in smoking numbers as smokers will still buy them, but they did confirm the drop in sales in the past few days.
“In two, three days since its been in effect, there has been a rapid reduction in sales. 30% is the number reported back from the field,” said the Kiosk Association.
Croatia now joins only Norway, Iceland, England, Ireland and Finland in Europe as nations to force retailers to remove cigarettes from the eye of consumers to underneath the counter.