‘Blank’ or label free cigarette packs are not appealing to non-smokers and as such prevent them from starting to smoke, according to a new research available in the diary Addiction. Despite the fact that the standardized packs are a new idea and the scientists have not collected significant evidence yet, the investigations conducted so far show that they may decrease the rate of smoking.
Britain intends to be the second nation on the planet to introduce non-labeled, standardized cigarettes packs as the British administration pledged last month to pass enactment which would become effective in 2016.
Pre-set packaging was enforced in Australia in 2012, with serious opposition from the tobacco industry. The legislation constrained the tobacco producers and retailers to market cigarettes in plain green packs alongside health warnings and pictures which display the harming results of smoking. Analysts have observed that when Australia enforced the law of plain packs in 2012, with large health warnings and pictures on them, smoking in open air areas of bistros, bars and restaurants decreased impressively.
Another study has uncovered that when the brand symbolism is taken off the packs, awareness regarding health warnings increments among social smokers and young people who just started smoking. As per Robert West, editorial manager of the diary, the effect of plain packs on adolescent potential smokers is presumably the most important initial effect. He noted:
“Even if standardized packaging had no effect at all on current smokers and only stopped one in 20 young people from being lured into smoking (in the UK), it would save about 2,000 lives a year.”
In any case, he conceded that it was difficult to assess whether plain packs had decreased the number of adolescent smokers in Australia. He explained the information was suggestive, yet not decisive as the impact would need to be significant for it to be recorded in the general data.
Tobacco companies have firmly opposed the regulation contending that standardized packaging violate licensed intellectual rights concerning branding and this will prompt counterfeiting and smuggling.
Ann McNeill, teaching tobacco addiction at King’s College London, also commented:
“For an addictive product that kills so many of its users, the tobacco industry should consider itself fortunate that … it is allowed to sell its toxic products at all, let alone try to make them attractive through the packaging.”
In response to the studies and Britain’s scheduled regulations concerning plain packs, a representative of the Tobacco Manufacturer’s Association contended that the most recent endeavor to justify plain tobacco packaging only shows the utter absence of proof that the strategy will be successful.
Image Source: The Guardian