Smokers put off by plain packs
More Australian smokers said they wanted to quit smoking since their cigarettes were sold in drab green packs with graphic health warnings as prescribed by the plain packaging law implemented in the country last December.
A study of 500 Australian smokers showed most believed their cigarettes were less satisfying and of lower quality than a year ago, with most also thinking more about quitting. The study was published in the British Medical Journal.
“Smokers have been telling us that our new plain packaging and larger graphic health warnings are putting them off,” the Australian Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek said in a Reuters Health report.
“And while tobacco companies haven’t changed the formula of their products, we’ve had feedback from smokers saying their cigarettes taste worse since the government’s required packaging to be plain.”
Despite an increased intention to quit smoking, British American Tobacco (BAT) said that they haven’t seen any drastic drop in sales. “There has been no noticeable impact on legal tobacco sales in the first six months due to plain packaging, as smokers are still purchasing cigarettes just as they were before it was introduced,” BAT spokesman Scott McIntyre said in a statement.
Australia introduced the plain packaging law late last year and other countries, including New Zealand and Ireland, plan to follow.
South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has also expressed his intention to introduce the law here, but has not provided any timeframe detailing when it will be implemented.
Source: Reuters Health