Cigarettes & plain packaging

Since the health effects of cigarettes are now well understood and widely accepted, people trying to answer to the question “Why do people still smoke?” have been looking at other aspects of cigarettes.

One that has been continually raised has been the issue of tobacco products as a cultural object and the impact they have on the self-image of the user and on the perceptions of tobacco by non-users.

The Department of Health to commissioned Sir Cyril Chantler to undertake an independent review into the standardised packaging of tobacco, particularly into the issue of the role of branding in encouraging young people to take up smoking, and introducing plain packaging would have a significant effect on public health.

As part of this study, Yanzhong Wang and Janet Peacock of the King’s Unit for Medical Statistics undertook a quantitative analysis of the studies that had formed the evidence base.

You can find the final report here and read the BBC’s story about plain tobacco packaging here.