Study examines effects of Australian plain packaging policy

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Shows impact of plain packaging on smokers' desire to quit

A study named "Introduction effects of the Australian plain packaging policy on adult smokers: a cross-sectional study", which objective was "To determine whether smokers smoking from packs required under Australia's plain packaging law had different smoking beliefs and quitting thoughts, compared with those still smoking from branded packs." was published on Monday 22 July 2013.

Australia, with the enactment of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act in 2011, became the first country in the world to require tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging. Products manufactured since October 2012, and all on sale since 1 December 2012 must be plain packaged.

The study, which was set in the Australian state of Victoria, included 526 cigarette smokers with some smoking from branded packs and the majority smoking from plain packs.

The study's results showed that those smoking from the plain packs tended to perceive their cigarettes to be lower quality, less satisfying, were more likely to have thought about quitting once a day and to rate quitting as a higher priority in their lives.

The authors of the study concluded that "The early indication is that plain packaging is associated with lower smoking appeal, more support for the policy and more urgency to quit among adult smokers."

The study was conducted by Melanie A Wakefield, Linda Hayes, Sarah Durkin and Ron Borland.

The full text of the study may be found here.