There is evidence confirming the effectiveness of plain packaging measures in smoking prevention and cessation. Consumers perceive such packaging to be ugly and dull and it decreases the attractiveness of tobacco products and smoking – especially to young people and women.
According to information disclosed by the tobacco industry in the context of a Minnesota lawsuit of 1987, when smokers were offered their usual cigarettes at half price – in generic brown boxes – only 21% were interested. The reason, in the view of the industry, was that packaging makes a statement about the consumer, who is deeply affected by how they are perceived by others.
The new Tobacco Products Directive adopted by the European Union in March 2014 will enter into force in 2016, making it possible for Member States to adopt plain packaging measures at the national level.
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