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Plain packaging - now the promise is in the pack

Friday 30 November, 2012 by Jess

Plain cigarette packaging

Bryan was a teenager when he started smoking. Like many others, he never thought it would kill him. He died aged 34, just 47 days after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. 

From tomorrow, smokers will be confronted with images of Bryan on his deathbed as well as gory pictures of gangrenous feet, tongue tumours, wasted lungs and damaged hearts as Australia’s world-first plain packaging comes into effect. 

Cigarettes must be sold in drab brown packaging with no branding and graphic health warnings will more than double in size. 

The outside of cigarettes will finally reflect the ugliness of what’s inside and leave no smoker in any doubt about how deadly cigarettes are – the promise is in the pack. 

Already, plain packaging is beginning to have an effect in terms of making smoking less appealing. Although the main intent of the legislation is to reduce the appeal of smoking to young people, there have been several calls to the Quitline from smokers who say the packs finally pushed them to quit. 

The tobacco industry will no longer be able to use cigarette packets as mini-billboards to spruik their deadly product, particularly in recruiting image-conscious young people. 

It is a vital step in reducing the desirability of a product that kills one in two long-term users and causes 80–90 per cent of lung cancer, Victoria’s number one cancer killer.


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