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Is the use of plain packaging for cigarettes effective?

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
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Australia has had plain packaging for cigarettes for some time now. After much debate, finally the idea is going to be implemented in the UK. How effective have non-branded cigarettes been in cutting down smoking in Australia? Has it put off young people taking it up? Different brands of cigarettes have different strengths and tastes,so if they are not branded, how do smokers know which one they're getting?'

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I don't think plain packaging is going to deter anyone from smoking cigarettes. They're addictive and their ill effects are well known, if that doesn't deter a smoker or potential smoker, than neither will an unpleasant image. Honestly, I think that plain packaging is just a way of the government and cigarette companies 'covering their butts'. If they really wanted to tackle the effects of smoking, they wouldn't out hundreds of carcinogenic chemicals in their products and people would more or less be fine to continue smoking for the heck of it.
by Vee
Good point. The tobacco itself probably isn't all that harmful, but added with all the extra chemicals it's a killer.
I don't smoke on a regular basis, but when I do it occasionally, it doesn't matter what the packaging looks like. If anything, I think it promotes more smoking because there's no pressure of what brand cigarette you smoke.

I think it's a common misconception that people who smoke are unaware of the side-effects - I mean, it tastes horrible, and yet it can quickly escalate to become a dangerous habit. But it also feels good, like any other drug that you've tried before and think it gives you a 'high' of some sort.

The packaging isn't what sells the cigarettes - it's the cigarettes themselves. One smokes the cancer stick, not the package, so it's quite redundant if you ask me.
I do not think that it will affect the really young kids who want to experiment as they will try it regardless.
I would imagine it has cut down the amount of people smoking but without any research into this, could not be sure.

I have given up smoking years ago so do not know how anyone would know the strength though have actually not seen a pack for years, as only know 1 person who smokes occasionally.
by Finy
When watching a news report about it coming into Britain, teenagers were asked if it would stop them from smoking, and they all said 'yes'; but then again, those clips were probably selected for that reason. Who knows how many said 'no', that weren't shown.

Even though I know about the harmful effects of smoking, pictures like that make me feel sick, so I think that it could be a good deterrent for young peple. I highly doubt it will stop current smokers though.
I can say for sure it didn't have any impact on me. Where I used to live the ugly pictures on cigarette packs have been introduced a few years ago. I noticed them for a few days. Then, it's just the cigarette you notice, and the gesture of taking a cigarette out of the pack is automatic. A smoker doesn't look at its pack too much.
As for kids and teenagers, I don't think it would solve something. They are trying out, they are experimenting and cigarettes are a part of the bigger "becoming an adult" picture. I think that education is much more effective.
People will see the pics on the pkt's and say ''that won't happen to me''.

What needs to happen is a big tax on each pkt.
Make them harder to afford.
There already is quite a high tax on them; I don't know how much though.
Totally agree, increase the tax even further and put that money directly into health care.
by Mickh
They still write the brand of the cigarette on the packet, they just aren't allowed to use fancy fonts, colours or images so the person buying them just buys them because they want them not because of the branding influence. I bought a packet for my brother a few months ago and was surprised to hear they are now locked away in a cupboard and you have to ask for them at the shop to know they sell them. I asked the guy if doing this had affected his sales, but he said it hadn't because smokers would smoke regardless. I like to think it will turn kids off smoking though, since it's not marketed to them like it used to be.

I still near customers asking for a packet of cigarettes by the brand name, when I'm walking past the only checkout or enquiry counter in the store. I think the tax on them should be increased every year. My husband always says cigarettes should be dearer than they are. When I see people smoking on the footpaths, I hold my nose as I"m walking past them, while frowning & sneering!
by Miro
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