Plain Cigarette Packages Make Smokers Want to Quit

By Chrisanne Grise 07/23/13

Taking away the flashy packaging makes smoking less appealing, an Australian study finds.

Smokers judge a habit by its cover. Photo via

Plain cigarette packaging makes smokers feel less satisfied with the quality of the product, and could help the anti-smoking movement, according a new study from Australia. The country began requiring plain packaging and graphic health warnings for all tobacco products back in December 2012. Researchers interviewed 536 smokers in Victoria, Australia, before, during, and after the new packaging rules were instated. At the time, about 72% of the participants were using the new plain packs, while almost 28% were smoking from branded packs. Participants smoking from the plain packs were 66% more likely to consider the cigarette quality worse than last year and were 81% more likely to consider quitting. "When cigarettes aren't disguised by flashy packaging and carefully crafted branding, smokers see them for what they are—a lethal product which kills half of its long-term users," says Kate Alley, the tobacco policy manager for Cancer Research UK. But the discontent has not yet made a significant impact; Bloomberg reports that tobacco sales have not decreased during the first six months of new packaging.

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices,,, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.