Home > Plain packs would deter young smokers.

[irishhealth.com] Plain packs would deter young smokers. (21 Sep 2013)

External website: http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=22623

Cigarette branding encourages teenagers to start smoking, according to new research.

In addition, non-smokers would be discouraged from even trying cigarettes and many current young smokers would quit if cigarettes came from 'plain packs', according to the research carried out among 15-16 year-olds.

The launch of the research, jointly commissioned by the Irish Heart Foundation and Irish Cancer Society, was told that the children who took part in focus groups believed that cigarettes currently on sale in Ireland communicate 'fun', 'style' and make the smoker 'look and feel better' about themselves.

When shown the new standardised packaging proposed by Government, these were rejected by the teenagers who all said they would not smoke when the new packs are introduced because they were at odds with the image they want to portray.

Asked who would smoke these cigarettes, one teen said: "I’d say an old person who smokes loads; they are too far gone and wouldn’t care if they are seen with the packs anyway."

It was found that the key attributes that teens look for when gauging the appeal of cigarettes included colour, box and cigarette shape, pack imagery and the brand name itself.

The survey found that girls were particularly attracted to slim cigarettes in lipstick-shaped boxes.

The study was launched by a coalition of children's and health organisations including the ISPCC, Barnardos, the Children's Rights Alliance, the Asthma Society, the Irish Cancer Society, Irish Heart Foundation and ASH Ireland.

The coalition is focused on protecting children's health by supporting legislation that will make it illegal for cigarette companies to use colour, text and packet size to market cigarettes. New legislation will remove one of the last remaining and very powerful marketing tools used by the tobacco industry, the coalition says.

The Government is planning to introduce standardised plain packaging as an anti-smoking measure.


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