Plain packaging – does it helps you quit? Associations based on visual stimuli

– By Grace Meguerditchian 

According to the Cancer Council, plain cigarette packets can cause people who are smokers to think differently about the contents of the packet, and for non-smokers to refrain from picking up the habit due to the perceived unattractiveness. Use of a grey brown colour and lack of branding has changed public perception of the practice of smoking.

But not only are the new packets ugly, but they also carry a lot of information regarding statistics of fatalities, and health warnings to make sure that there is no false or misleading information give to those who smoke, about their habit.

Recent research from the Cancer Council shows that when young people view the new packs stripped of colours and logos and branding, they believe the cigarettes to be less appealing, that the cigarettes are not of a high quality, that they wont taste as they should, and that they are smoked by people who are less stylish and sociable. Therefore forcing the habit to seem less appealing and giving people more of an inclination to quit.

An extensive review of literature and studies of plain packaging concluded that “plain packaging would reduce the attractiveness and appeal of tobacco products, it would increase the noticeability and effectiveness of health warnings and messages, and it would reduce the use of design techniques that may mislead consumers about the harmfulness of tobacco products”. 


Plain Packaging Benefits – Cancer Council Victoria . 2013. Plain Packaging Benefits – Cancer Council Victoria . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 May 2013].

Plain packaged cigarettes already on the shelves | 3AW MORNINGS. 2013. Plain packaged cigarettes already on the shelves | 3AW MORNINGS. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 May 2013].

University of Stirling, Plain Tobacco Packaging: A Systematic Review, [accessed 29 May 20203].