As part of the fight against smoking, the introduction of neutral packages in early 2017 should reduce the attractiveness of tobacco. The new French study seems to prove that the mission is carried out among young people aged 12 to 17 years.
As part of its tobacco control policy, France introduced neutral tobacco packages on January 1, 2017. All packages are of the same shape, size, color, same typography, and are devoid of logos. and bring new visual health warnings that highlight the dangers of smoking. The aim is to reduce the attractiveness of tobacco, especially among young people aged between 12 and 17 who are more sensitive to marketing.
In order to assess the impact of this measure, Inserm and the National Cancer Institute launched the DePICT survey (Description of Perceptions, Images and Behaviors of Tobacco) in 2017. This study explores 2 different waves of 6,000 people (4,000 adults and 2000 teenagers each time) – just before the introduction of neutral packets and the other exactly one year later – perception of smoking.
For adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, the survey results show that one year after the introduction of neutral packages:
- 1 out of 5 young people (20.8%) tested tobacco for the first time compared to 1 in 4 (26.3%) in 2016, even given their demographic and socio-economic characteristics. This decline is more pronounced among girls: 1 in 10 (13.4%) compared to 1 in 4 (25.2%);
- Young people are more likely to regard smoking as dangerous (83.9% vs. 78.9% in 2016) and report that they are afraid of its consequences (73.3% vs. 69.2%);
- They are less likely to say that their friends or family receive smoking (16.2% vs. 25.4% and 11.2% vs. 24.6%);
- Young smokers are also less attached to their tobacco brand in 2017 compared to 2016 (23.9% vs. 34.3%).
According to the authors of the study, Maria Melchior and Fabian El-Khuri,These results show that a neutral package could contribute to the demoralizing of tobacco in young people and to reduce their experimentation."They specify that"the overall effect will be due to tobacco control policies, including the introduction of neutral packages, increased prices and advertising, as well as awareness-raising campaignsFuture studies will focus on the impact of this campaign to raise awareness of regular smoking.
Created on 21 November 2018
Ordinary Tobacco Packaging, Increased Health and Smoking Perceptions: DePICT, French National Survey – Fabienne El-Khoury Lesueur, Camille Bolze, Ramchandar Gomajee, Vicky White, Maria Melchior – DePICT Research Group – First: November 8, 2018 )
Photo: © THOMAS SAMSON