Evidence brief – Plain packaging of tobacco products: measures to decrease smoking initiation and increase cessation
Evidence shows that the packaging of tobacco products is designed for badge products targetting specific groups, particularly women and young people, and that attractive packaging tends to weaken warnings about the harmful health effects of the products. To preserve the effectiveness of the health warnings – a requirement under Articles 11 and 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco - the guidelines on the implementation of these articles recommend the adoption of plain-packaging measures. Studies have revealed that plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of the product, particularly to women and young people. They also show that, when combined with large pictorial health warnings, plain-packaging measures increase awareness about the risks related to tobacco consumption, encouraging more people to quit and fewer to start. In that these measures merely regulate the use of logos or colours for public health purposes, they are in compliance with international trade and intellectual property law.