Plain Cigarette Packaging May Reduce Smoking Rates

February 18, 2015|2:48 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

According to a series of studies recently published in the journal Addiction, growing evidence shows that plain tobacco product packaging, without labels or branding, may deter non-smokers from taking up the habit and limit the number of cigarettes current smokers use.

Researchers say that this type of standardization is too new to provide substantial evidence, but that so far, studies show that they are likely to reduce smoking rates. One of the study experiments suggests that for current smokers, plain cigarette packs are less appealing, provoke less craving and motivation to purchase, reduce short-term self-reported smoking rates, and increase attention to health warnings compared to branded packs.

The English government recently announced that it will put regulations on standardized packaging to a vote before the general election in May 2015. If the vote is passed, England will be the second country to mandate standardized packaging, following Australia, which did so in 2012.

Read more in these news stories from Time and The Guardian.