Australian Smokers Now Support Plain Packaging Of Tobacco

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Support by smoker for plain packaging of tobacco products rose sharply after they were introduced in Australia, according to a study.

Initial scepticism about plain packs faded among smokers and the more supportive a person was, the more likely they were to try quitting.

Plain packaging for tobacco products was implemented in Australia in December 2012 along with larger graphic health warnings.

Analysing data for 6,384 people showed that support for plain packs increased significantly after they were implemented, rising from 28.2% pre-implementation to 49% afterwards.

Those people with a stronger desire to quit were more likely to be supportive of plain packs, as were those who were rated low on a heavy smoking index and those who believed they were at high risk of future smoking-related harms.

Opposition to the plain packs mainly came from those people who smoked heavily and those who underestimated the risks, said the researchers, who also found that support was also associated with higher levels of quitting activity.

This meant that after plain packs’ introduction, more smokers were supportive of them than were opposed – 49% compared to 34.7%.

The research, by Dr Ron Borland of The Cancer Council Victoria and colleagues, is published in the journal Tobacco Control

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