Plain packaging and removal of descriptors on cigarette packs may reduce the appeal of smoking for teens and young adults, and consequently reduce the likelihood of smoking, according to a study of young women aged 16-26 years in Brazil.

Study participants were asked to rate three types of cigarette packages (standard branded, plain packaging, and plain packaging with no descriptors, e.g., flavors). Branded cigarette packs were rated as significantly more appealing, better tasting and smoother than plain packs and were associated with greater style and sophistication.

Removing descriptors from the plain packs further decreased the ratings of appeal, taste and smoothness, and also reduced associations with positive attributes.

1. White CM, Hammond D, Thrasher JF, Fong GT. The potential impact of plain packaging of cigarette products among Brazilian young women: an experimental study. BMC Public Health 2012; 12: 737. (open access)