The Federal Government scored a massive win over cigarette companies a few weeks ago when the High Court decided in favour of plain packaging in Australia. Now as other countries discuss the similar moves, scientists have discovered that plain packages for cigarettes actually deter people from smoking, especially young women.
Like them or hate them, the plain packages are working says new research from BioMed Central.
Researchers studied the effects of plain cigarette packages on the behaviour of new smokers in Brazil. The study noted a decline in the amount of female smokers and attributed it to the lack of visually appealing packages enticing them to buy.
The research reads:
Research suggests that many brands appear to specifically target young women by use of 'feminine' colored packs, fruit flavorings, or by suggestive terms such as 'slim' or 'superslim'. Scientists from Canada, the US, and Brazil collaborated on this online study of 640 young Brazilian women to see if these cigarettes had the same appeal when presented in plain packaging (but still with the brand name and description on them). As a final test, the women were able to choose which they would have preferred as a free gift, one of the plain or branded packs (although there was never any intension for the packs to be sent out).
The results from this study, the first to look at the effect of plain cigarette packaging on smoking in Latin America, backs up research in other countries, which has found that plain packaging makes cigarettes less appealing to young people.
Good to see some good news out of the tobacco world for a change.