Last week ministers said they were shelving plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging until they saw the impact it had in Australia. At the end of last year Australia became the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging – a drab olive green coloured box, plastered with health warnings.
A new study of 500 Australians has revealed promising results, prompting campaigners to put pressure on the Government. The research revealed that smokers found cigarettes in plain packaging less appealing and were 80% more likely to consider quitting.
Other results from the study revealed that 70% were more likely to find the cigarettes less satisfying, rating quitting smoking as a higher priority than those smoking cigarettes from branded packs. Despite no change to the tobacco formula, feedback from the study showed that smokers found cigarettes from plain packaging to taste worse than cigarettes from branded packs.
Simon Gillespie (chief executive of the British Heart Foundation) has said:
“This is yet more evidence for the UK Government that standardised cigarette packs work in discouraging smoking…Westminster has absolutely no excuse for delaying legislation to introduce standardised packaging.”
In contrast to these results, British American Tobacco has claimed that there has been ‘no noticeable impact’ on cigarette sales in Australia. The Department of Health are yet to comment on the study from Australia, but the results are sure to put pressure on Downing Street.
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