The smoking rate in Australia has remained unchanged since the introduction of standardized packaging a year ago according to a report by London Economics, one of Europe’s leading policy and economics consultancies.
“The research is one of the first comprehensive surveys of smoking prevalence since the introduction of plain packaging in Australia one year ago,” London Economics said in a press note. “This analysis concentrates on actual smoking behaviour, as reported by study participants both before and after the implementation of the new tobacco packaging requirements, which more than doubled the size of the health warning on the front of the pack and removed all brand imagery from tobacco packaging, requiring tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging.”
“Over the timeframe of the analysis, the data does not demonstrate that there has been a change in smoking prevalence following the introduction of plain packaging despite an increase in the noticeability of the new health warnings,” Dr. Gavan Conlon, lead researcher and London Economics partner, was quoted as saying.
London Economics was commissioned by Philip Morris International to undertake the analysis.
The full report can be found at www.londecon.co.uk.
Meanwhile, the Cancer Council Victoria was quick to respond to the London Economics report, providing notes that it said highlighted “conceptual errors in the report” and outlined “a series of major scientific limitations of the Philip Morris-funded study.”
Cancer Council Victoria said that the notes were provided to assist interpretation of the claims made in the London Economics report.
The Cancer Council Victoria notes are at http://www.cancervic.org.au/downloads/tobacco_control/2013/Critique_by_Cancer_Council_Victoria_on_report_by_PMI_26.11.13.pdf.
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