WATERLOO, ON, May 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Following the Republic of Ireland's
announcement on Tuesday that it will adopt plain packaging legislation
for tobacco products, University of Waterloo tobacco researcher David
Hammond suggests that Canada must follow suit to curb deaths from
After several decades of steady decline, smoking rates in Canada appear
have stalled at almost 5 million smokers. With restrictions already
placed on traditional forms of tobacco advertising in Canada, packaging
design remains one of the last ways cigarette companies can market
"Cigarette packaging has increased in importance following restrictions
on traditional forms of advertising. Without new measures, such as
plain packaging, there is no end in sight to the health epidemic from
smoking," said Professor Hammond, of the Faculty of Applied Health
Increasingly, cigarette companies are targeting youth, especially young
women, with packaging design. "These female branded packages use
feminine colour schemes and feature descriptors such as superslim
slims, and flavour to attract young women—with dangerous success,"
Professor Hammond said.
Studies published in Tobacco Control and the Journal of Adolescent Health found that female-branded packs were not only thought to taste the
best, but also were associated with glamour, slimness and
attractiveness. Plain packs, on the other hand, were consistently rated
as the least appealing and also the worst tasting.
Young women were significantly less likely to accept a pack of
cigarettes when offered a plain pack versus a female-branded pack.
"Marketing in the form of pack branding remains a potent tool for
increasing the appeal of tobacco products to young women. Research
shows that packaging designed to appeal to young women directly impacts
their beliefs and attitudes about cigarettes."
Under Ireland's proposed legislation, cigarette packages will just
feature the brand name in plain text and graphic images showing the
harmful effects of cigarettes.
Ireland becomes only the second country in the world to adopt this
legislation. Australia was the first, with the legislation coming into
effect in December 2012. Professor Hammond served as an expert advisor
to the Australian government for this law.
Ireland's announcement comes just ahead of the World Health
Organization's No Tobacco Day on Friday May 31.
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart
of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading
comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in
undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's
largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its
connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in
learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is
committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by
championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant
to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about
Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.
SOURCE: University of Waterloo
For further information:
Professor Hammond is available for interview.
University of Waterloo
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