The measure was introduced in July as part of a campaign to achieve a ‘smoke-free’ generation of young people in Denmark by 2030.
People wanting to purchase cigarettes in the stores must now ask for them specifically, and sales have fallen by around five percent, Ritzau reports.
“The aim is not to sell fewer cigarettes, as we don’t actually want to get involved in whether people smoke. But we support the idea of fewer young people starting to smoke,” Netto’s Denmark director Brian Seemann told Ritzau.
“We are hearing from our stores that there are fewer impulse purchases of cigarettes by young people. So we think we’re on the right track,” Seemann said.
Charities the Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse) and the Heart Foundation (Hjerteforeningen) both praised Netto for introducing the measure.
“After much debate, we finally have something that means fewer children and young people will start smoking, and fewer will get cancer in the future,” project leader Niels Them Kjær of the Danish Cancer Society said.
“But we need a law, because all convenience stores must also be on board if we are to reach our goal of a smoke-free future in 2030,” Kjær added.
Netto’s parent company Salling Group also owns the Føtex and Bilka supermarket chains, which will follow suit in removing cigarettes from display later this year.
“We don’t mind being alone (in concealing cigarettes). Others are perhaps reluctant because there’s an economic cost. But we are seeing the results we want to, so we are happy,” Seemann said.