Plain packs persuasive

| April 28, 2017

Standardized cigarette packaging could persuade 300,000 people in the UK to quit smoking, according to a story in The Guardian citing a review by scientists at the independent health research organization Cochrane.

The 300,000 estimate is based on the experience in Australia, the first country to introduce standardized packaging, being repeated in the UK.

Standardised cigarette packaging will be compulsory in the UK from May20.

The Guardian story said that the review of the impact of standardized packaging ‘around the world’ had found that it does affect the behaviour of smokers.

‘The Cochrane reviewers found 51 studies that looked at standardized packaging and its impact on smokers, but only one country had implemented the rule fully at the time,’ the Guardian story said. ‘Australia brought in plain packs in 2012.

‘Analysing the evidence from Australia, the team found a reduction in smoking of 0.5 percent up to one year after the policy was introduced. According to the Australian government, that translates to 100,000 people no longer smoking. The decline was attributable specifically to plain packaging, after taking into account the continuing drop in the numbers of smokers caused by other tobacco control measures.’

Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce of the Cochrane tobacco addiction group at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences said: “We are not able to say for sure what the impact would be in the UK, but if the same magnitude of decrease was seen in the UK as was observed in Australia, this would translate to roughly 300,000 fewer smokers following the implementation of standardized packaging.”

The full story is at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/apr/27/plain-cigarette-packaging-could-drive-300000-britons-to-quit-smoking.

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Category: Breaking News, Harm reduction, Markets, Packaging, Regulation

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