Smokers notice health warnings more on plain packs

London: Health warnings on plain-packaged cigarettes affect smokers more than those marked on branded packs, finds a new study.

Warnings used on standardised packs were novel and larger than those on fully-branded packs – and displayed pictorial images on both main display areas, the team said.

“Consistent with the broad objectives of standardised packaging, our research found that it was associated with increased warning salience, and thoughts about risks and quitting,” said lead researcher Crawford Moodie from the University of Stirling in Scotland.

“This study adds to the growing body of evidence that standardised packaging reduces the appeal of tobacco products,” said George Butterworth, Senior Policy Manager at Cancer Research, UK.

The study showed that smokers who bought standardised packs were more likely to have noticed and read the warnings compared to those who had never used standardised packs.

Those who bought standardised packs also thought about the health risks of smoking and quitting and were more likely to have noticed a stop smoking sign on packs.

For the study, the team included 1,865 current smokers aged 16 and above.