We are easily seduced, it seems. Plain packages do make cigarettes less appealing.
That is the conclusion from interviews with 536 smokers in Victoria, Australia – where plain packaging was introduced last December.
However, the UK government recently dropped plans for plain packaging, citing lack of evidence. “The government wanted to wait for evidence to emerge from Australia before acting – well here it is,” says Deborah Arnott of Action on Smoking and Health.
Compared with smokers using brand packs, those buying plain packs were more likely to judge their cigarettes to be poorer quality than a year earlier, and find them less satisfying. They were also more likely to have thought about quitting at least once a day more often than brand smokers.
Arnott argues that the results are solid enough to demolish the case for any further delay in introducing plain packs in the UK and elsewhere. “There’s a good link between people’s motivation to quit and quitting itself,” she says.