Cigarette packets in Australia

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A sample package: a variety of warning packages are in use.

Cigarette packets in Australia have undergone significant change. Since 1 December 2012 all forms of branding logos, colours, and promotional texts are banned from cigarette pack designs. In turn they were replaced with drab dark brown packets[1] and graphic images of smoking-related images to try to reduce the smoking population of Australia to 10% by 2018 from 15% in 2012. Australia is currently the only country in the world to have plain packaging cigarette packs.

History[edit]

In 1973, Australia's first health warning on cigarette packages appeared with the simple message 'Warning—Smoking is a health hazard'.[2] Since 1 March 2006, graphic images depicting the effects of smoking cigarettes have been required to be displayed on cigarette packets. Warnings must cover 30% of the front and 90% of the back of the box.[3] The 10% of the back not occupied by a warning is used for the message "Sale to underage persons prohibited".

Since 1 December 2012 all forms of branding logos, colours, and promotional texts are banned from cigarette pack designs. The requirement is for plain cigarette packaging showing only brand name and health warning messages. Australia is currently[when?] the only country in the world to have plain packaging cigarette packs.[4][5]

Canada was the first country to use graphic pictures in conjunction with written warnings on cigarette packages, with the legislation coming in 2005.[6]

In March 2015 Ireland became the first country in Europe to pass legislation requiring cigarettes to be sold in plain packets.[7][dead link]

In the same month the UK parliament also voted in favour of introducing standardised packaging for cigarettes in the UK, if the House of Lords approve the move, the UK will introduce plain packaging from 2016.[8]

Turkey's health minister announced that the plain packaging will be introduced in Turkey by January 2015.[9]

Warnings[edit]

For cigarette packets, warnings include:

With each warning is an accompanying graphic, and detailed information on the back of the packet. In addition, cigar and loose tobacco packets show other, slightly altered warnings. These warnings target the misconception that alternative, non-cigarette tobacco products are less harmful.

Australian cigarette packaging laws also prohibit the use of terms such as 'light', 'mild', 'extra mild', etc. The three major Australian tobacco manufacturers agreed to stop using these terms, after investigation of complaints of misleading and deceptive terms were made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2005.[10] This has assisted in counteracting the belief that some cigarette varieties are less harmful than others. To the same effect, while the carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar content of particular brands of cigarettes used to be mandated, the display and/or advertisement these figures is now prohibited under the government's "All Cigarettes are Toxic" campaign.

Although there has been no concrete proof that plain packaging has had an impact on cigarette purchases in Australia,[11] there has been a significant increase of calls to quitline http://www.quitnow.gov.au/ in some states[12] that would suggest plain packaging might encourage smokers to attempt or at least seek help with quitting smoking.

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Rachel Wells (17 August 2012). Does this colour turn you off?. The Age. Retrieved on 7 December 2012.
  2. ^ Scollo, Michelle & Haslam, Indra (2008). "Attachment 12.1 Health warnings". Tobacco in Australia. Cancer Council Victoria. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Australia – Warnings". www.smoke-free.ca. 1 March 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Australia plans plain-packaging rule for cigarettes". BBC News. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Richard Shears (28 April 2010). Australia PM bans cigarette logos as he orders world's first 'plain packaging' anti-smoking scheme. Includes example image. Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved on 7 December 2012.
  6. ^ Haines-Saah, R. J., Bell, K., & Dennis, S. (2015). A Qualitative Content Analysis of Cigarette Health Warning Labels in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. American Journal Of Public Health, 105(2), e61-9. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302362
  7. ^ "Republic of Ireland passes cigarette plain package law". The BBC. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "MPs back standardised cigarette packaging". The BBC. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Açık havada sigara yasağının başlama tarihi belli oldu". Posta Newspaper. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Liberman, Jonathan (2008). "16.2.1 ACCC action on 'light' and 'mild' cigarettes". Tobacco in Australia. Cancer Council of Victoria. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  11. ^ Davidson, S., & de Silva, A. (2014). The plain truth about plain packaging: An econometric analysis of the australian 2011 tobacco plain packaging act. Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, 21(1), 27-43. Young, J. M., Stacey, I., Dobbins, T. A., Dunlop, S., Dessaix, A. L., & Currow, D. C. (2014). Association between tobacco plain packaging and quitline calls: A population-based, interrupted time-series analysis. The Medical Journal of Australia, 200(1), 29-32. doi:10.5694/mja13.11070
  12. ^ Young, J., Stacey, I., Dobbins, T., Dunlop, S., Dessaix, A., & Currow, D. (2014). Association between tobacco plain packaging and Quitline calls: a population-based, interrupted time-series analysis. The Medical Journal Of Australia, 200(1), 29-32. doi:10.5694/mja13.11070