New York City Enter any retail outlet or gas station in the country, and probabilities are the cigarettes will be in approximately the same place: at eye level, directly behind the cash register.

That is no coincidence. Cigarette manufacturers have worked tough, and paid enough, to make sure that cigarette displays take up the best spot. For instance in 2010 solely, the tobacco industry spend $370 million in payments to merchants to help secure the prime shelving area, in accordance to a survey presented by the Federal Trade Commission. It has also spent an extra $107 million on in-store marketing. “Every consumer product goods producer in the country would like to be there,” stated Kurt M. Ribisl, a lecturer at the University of North Carolina who analyses tobacco marketing. “Companies producing chips and Pepsi, all of them want that best space. But the tobacco industry is the winner.” Currently, that supremacy could be at risk in one of the country’s largest cigarette markets.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested a bill recently that would induce retailers to retain cigarettes out of sight until a customer asks for a package. The given law would efficiently demand retailers to hold smoking products in closed cupboards or boxes, rather than on the vibrant displays, called “power walls,” that are recognizable nearly almost everywhere in the US. A second bill would monitor the process of discounts and offers that producers have used to seek after customers and always keep retailers satisfied. It would suspend discount coupons and any of buy-one-get-one-free special offers for smoking products and get rid of strong discounts by assuring a price floor for each package. It is too earlier to ascertain whether or not one of these measures will come through the legislative procedure. Cigarette manufacturers and convenience store proprietors have attacked both suggestions claiming that they are unfair and perhaps unconstitutional. An industry legal action pushed the New York village of Haverstraw to rapidly cancel an identical ban passed last April. It is more uncertain is whether the policy would really end up in fewer people lighting up.

Many nations, such as Ireland, Canada and Australia, have restrained retail tobacco displays, however most specialists state that the guidelines haven’t been ready long enough to understand whether they have had a solid effect. Opponents of the law state it will only bother smokers unnecessarily and make things more complicated for small scale businesses.