Review confirms plain packaging is cutting the smoking toll

Friday 26 February, 2016

Quit Victoria has welcomed the findings of a Federal Government review of plain packaging of cigarettes, which show the world-first laws are achieving their aims of improving public health.

The post-implementation review released today found that plain packaging was achieving its aims, which include reducing the appeal of smoking to young people and strengthening the effectiveness of graphic health warnings.

The review also found that plain packaging is contributing to a decline in smoking rates across Australia, noting that even small drops in prevalence have significant health benefits at a population level.

"Tobacco plain packaging is achieving its aim of improving public health in Australia and is expected to have substantial public health outcomes into the future," the review concludes.

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said the findings were great news for public health, given smoking continues to claim the lives of more than 15,000 Australians each year.

As a result of new laws introduced on 1 December 2012, all tobacco products sold in Australia must be in plain packaging which does not feature brand imagery, logos or promotional text. The drab, standardised packaging also includes large and graphic health warnings.

"Plain packaging is delivering as part of a comprehensive government strategy to reduce smoking rates in Australia," Dr White said.

"Smoking rates are at record lows, with 12.8 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and over now smoking daily.

"The fact that plain packaging is proving such as success even within its first three years will strengthen the resolve of other countries around the world preparing to introduce the measure, including in the UK, Ireland and France."

 

Updated: 26 Feb, 2016