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Plain cigarette packaging ‘could reduce smoker numbers’

Plain cigarette packaging could reduce the number of people who smoke, research suggests.
Cigarette Packaging

Plain cigarette packaging could reduce the number of people who smoke, research suggests.

A team of researchers from the UK and Canada summarised results from 51 studies involving 800,000 participants that examined the impact of plain standardised packaging on attitudes and behaviour towards tobacco.

The authors of the study from Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, analysed information from medical journal and research databases from 1980 to 2016.

Standardised packaging

The introduction of plain or standardised packaging was recommended by the World Health Organization.

Australia was the first country to implement standardised tobacco packaging between October and December 2012, France implemented it in January 2017 and several other countries are implementing, or intending to implement, standardised tobacco packaging.

One Australian national study of 5,441 adult

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Plain cigarette packaging could reduce the number of people who smoke, research suggests.


Plain packaging has an effect on the number of people quitting smoking     Picture: Alamy

A team of researchers from the UK and Canada summarised results from 51 studies involving 800,000 participants that examined the impact of plain standardised packaging on attitudes and behaviour towards tobacco.

The authors of the study from Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, analysed information from medical journal and research databases from 1980 to 2016.

Standardised packaging

The introduction of plain or standardised packaging was recommended by the World Health Organization.

Australia was the first country to implement standardised tobacco packaging between October and December 2012, France implemented it in January 2017 and several other countries are implementing, or intending to implement, standardised tobacco packaging.

One Australian national study of 5,441 adult participants found that attempts to quit smoking increased from 20.2% before the introduction of plain packaging to 26.6% one year post-implementation. A further study showed a 78% increase in the number of calls to smoking helplines after the implementation of plain packaging.


McNeill A et al (2017) Tobacco packaging design for reducing tobacco use. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 4. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD011244.

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