Study: Plain cigarette packs turn smokers off
Researchers in Australia find that smokes with no flashy branding or advertising lose their appeal. But tobacco companies say sales are still going strong.
That's the takeaway from a new study in Australia that found that smokers don't like cigarettes as much when they come in boring packs with graphic images of the habit's harmful effects.
As it turns out, people are so influenced by branding and advertising that when you take it away, the product suffers.
Smokers think cigarettes from plain packs are less satisfying and of lower quality, the study said. And most also think seriously about quitting. The researchers are publishing the study Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.
The study took place in Australia because it has some of the world's toughest laws on cigarette packaging. Starting last December, cigarettes have been sold in olive green packs (pictured) with graphic photos on them showing mouth cancer and other ill effects from smoking.
But do plain packs actually hurt sales? Cigarette companies say there there has been no drop in sales in Australia since the new packaging hit shelves. ''The tobacco market has remained stable," British American Tobacco spokesman Scott McIntyre told The Sydney Morning Herald. "Consumers have not changed their purchasing behavior."
The issue seems to have been snuffed out in the United States. In 2011, a federal judge threw out the Food and Drug Administration's attempt to get similar packaging in place. The government appealed the ruling last year, but so far no dramatic changes to cigarette packaging appears likely. Even the FDA's website showing the proposed labels has been shut down.
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So, "Smokers think cigarettes from plain packs are less satisfying and of lower quality," but "Consumers have not changed their purchasing behavior."
Can I get a million dollar government grant to conduct this study in the U.S.?
Doesn't sway me to change my mind either way. Yes - I am killing myself and less money the government (you the tax payer) will have to pay since I'll be dead not collecting social security & medicade. Besides you have all that tax money you generate to spend on education for schools that worry about how you feel not how actually smart you are!!!
I like my brand due to quality - no brand name.
If you think that lying will make me stop smoking, think again. People have smoked for hundreds of years and they were happy. Lies and more lies, coming from the health insurance companies that do not want anybody to get sick so they can make more money.
The Government is the cause of us older people smoking. They subsidized tobacco farmers to grow tobacco when I was young - I'm 70. They should be liable - not necessarily the tobacco companies.
On to the article: They cannot stop people with the habit from smoking - as the study suggests.
If they raise the price we still buy them. If they go too high we will have to start robbing to get the money to buy them and smokers will do that - it's a habit the governments created.
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