NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Would plain packets make cigarettes less attractive?


Er...

How does increasingly plainer cigarette packaging influence adult smokers’ perceptions about brand image? An experimental study

M A Wakefield, D Germain, S J Durkin

9 July 2008

Method: A 3 (brand types) × 4 (degree of plain packaging) between-subject experimental design was used, using an internet online method, to expose 813 adult Australian smokers to one randomly selected cigarette pack, after which respondents completed ratings of the pack.

Results: Compared with current cigarette packs with full branding, cigarette packs that displayed progressively fewer branding design elements were perceived increasingly unfavourably in terms of smokers’ appraisals of the packs, the smokers who might smoke such packs, and the inferred experience of smoking a cigarette from these packs. For example, cardboard brown packs with the number of enclosed cigarettes displayed on the front of the pack and featuring only the brand name in small standard font at the bottom of the pack face were rated as significantly less attractive and popular than original branded packs. Smokers of these plain packs were rated as significantly less trendy/stylish, less sociable/outgoing and less mature than smokers of the original pack. Compared with original packs, smokers inferred that cigarettes from these plain packs would be less rich in tobacco, less satisfying and of lower quality tobacco.



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