“Plain packaging reduced unconscious triggers to smoke,” BBC News reports.
This claim is based on two related experiments where smokers were either exposed to a picture of a branded pack of cigarettes, a picture of a plain pack (containing a graphic health warning), or nothing at all, and were asked to choose a reward of either chocolate or a cigarette.
Researchers found people exposed to the plain pack were, over time, 9% more likely to choose a chocolate reward compared with people exposed to the branded pack, so their consumption of cigarettes was reduced.
This study has inherent limitations, meaning we shouldn’t really count on seeing a similar reduction in smoking through the use of plain packaging in the real world, as the study’s authors acknowledge themselves.
Professor Marcus Munafò, a co-author of the study, explained: “In the natural environment, smoking may be governed by a whole range of factors … It is not clear to what extent plain packaging will reduce smoking when these other factors are at play.”
The biggest real-world experiment is already underway in Australia, where plain packaging was introduced by law in 2012. Recent information released by the Australian government does show a subsequent modest reduction in smoking rates.Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321 or 07930717137
Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321 or 07930717137