Smokers’ perception of cigarette packaging in France before and after the implementation of plain packaging
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Santé publique France, Paris, France
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A75
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The new mandatory packaging for tobacco products (plain pack with larger graphic health warnings) was implemented in France on 1 January 2017.

This study examines the impact of this new packaging on smokers’ perceptions of their pack by comparing perceptions before 2016 and after 2017 the implementation.

Data come from the Santé publique France Health Barometer, a national telephone survey with random sampling. In the 2016 and 2017 editions, 15216 and 25319 adults were asked about their tobacco consumption, respectively. Two questions were asked to smokers, identical in 2016 and 2017, on the appreciation of the appearance of the pack and on the embarrassment to take out the pack because of its appearance.

• The share of smokers stating that they do enjoy the look of their pack was divided by 3 between 2016 (53%) and 2017 (16%). • Smokers stating that they are embarrassed taking out their pack in plain sight because of its look were twice as numerous in 2017 (12%) as in 2016 (6%). • A reduce appeal of cigarette pack was observed among the youths (18–25 years) and they are now as few as their elders that enjoy the look of their pack.

The introduction of plain packaging has certainly had an impact on smokers’ perceptions and, within a strong tobacco control context, probably contributed to denormalising smoking in France.

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