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Stop-smoking

14 February 2014

Plain cigarette packs spur interest in quitting

Drab olive cigarette packs bearing a prominent quit-smoking helpline number, have caused more people to become interested in quitting.

Drab olive cigarette packs bearing a prominent quit-smoking helpline number, introduced more than a year ago in Australia, had a sizeable and sustained effect on interest in quitting, researchers say.

Graphic images were present on the labels in the past

"The plain and standardised packaging is meant to reduce the appeal of the package and show the warning. Hopefully current smokers will quit because they are more aware of the health impacts, and fewer people will start," said Cohen, who was not involved in the new study.

Between 2006 and 2011, Young's team notes, smoking rates in New South Wales had already dropped from 17.7% of residents to 14.7%.

Changing cigarette packaging can take years, often because it means squaring off in a legal battle with cigarette companies. "Many countries are in line to follow with the plain and standardized packaging once the legal issues get resolved," Cohen said.


Read more:

Graphic warnings on cigarette packs help smokers quit

Plain cigarette packets for Australia

Australia: new cigarette pack rules


 

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