Tobacco taste: it’s all in the mind’s eye

| July 11, 2013

The introduction of standardized tobacco packs in Australia has caused some smokers to complain that the cigarettes inside taste worse than they did previously, according to a piece by Matt Siegel in The New York Times.

Since Dec. 1, Australia has required that all tobacco products be sold in packaging designed on behalf of the government to be as ugly as possible. Packs are hugely dominated by graphic health warnings, are otherwise a standard olive color, have no logos or other design features, and have brand and variant names in a standardized font and position.

The Australian health minister, Tanya Plibersek, told Siegel in an interview it would be a number of years before she could say whether the introduction of the packs had reduced smoking rates and improved health.

However, commenting on the complaints about the taste of the cigarettes, Plibersek said there had been no reformulation of the product.

“It was just that people being confronted with the ugly packaging made the psychological leap to disgusting taste,” she said.

Siegel’s story is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/business/global/law-spoils-tobaccos-taste-australians-say.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y&_r=1&.

Category: Breaking News

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