Has plain packaging impacted smoking?
Posted by: Caféstudy
22nd Jan 2014 04:20pm
A year after plain packaging was introduced, we asked you if you thought it had had an effect and was working to stop people smoking. Was it a worthwhile change, or just an example of the Government making decisions for us?
Your responses are divided between those who think it is a good thing (mostly non-smokers), and those who feel annoyed and think that the initiative is the Government telling you what to do (mostly current smokers). Several of you who have been smoking for many years say that plain packaging has done nothing to change your habits. In fact, some of you even say it has made you more determined to continue smoking! You think that the Government has no right to tell you what to do, and that quitting smoking should be your decision not theirs. As Pete says, “the packaging does not change an addiction to nicotine”. There is some anger at the Government at continuing to use tobacco as ever-increasing tax revenue whilst sending out messages that it is damaging. Why not ban smoking altogether instead for the sake of people’s health?
When it comes to the impact on young people...well, as Careful says; “young persons do not respond to the pictures as youth feel they are indestructible so this is not the way”. There is an element of rebellion among the young, and this is not seen as the best way of approaching the problem.
However, what is interesting is that many smokers who say that the new packaging has had no effect on them actually remove the cigarettes from their packets and put them in their own containers, or buy or make a special cover for the packets. Doesn’t the fact that smokers are covering up the health messages surely tell us that plain packaging is having an impact? After all, if the health messages on the packets do not have any impact on the smoker, then why cover it up?
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