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Plain packaging on tobacco products in France: Effectiveness on smokers’ attitudes one year after implementation

Abstract : Introduction: New packaging of tobacco products, with plain packaging and new enlarged health warnings, was made compulsory in France in 2017. This study aims to measure the impact of new packaging on smokers' embarrassment and their motivation to quit smoking. Methods: Data from Santé publique France 2016, 2017 and 2018 Health Barometer surveys were used. These randomized surveys were conducted by telephone with samples of 15216 (2016), 25319 (2017), and 9074 (2018) people aged 18-75 years. The association between smokers' embarrassment and the influence of new packaging on motivation to quit smoking was studied using multivariate logistic regressions. Results: After the introduction of new plain packaging, the proportion of smokers who felt embarrassed taking out their pack of cigarettes in plain sight because of its appearance doubled in 2017 (11.9%, 95% CI: 10.2-13.9 vs 5.9%, 95% CI: 4.4-7.8 in 2016, p<0.001) and continued to increase in 2018 (15.5%, 95% CI: 13.7-17.5, p<0.01). In 2018, women were more embarrassed than men (OR=2.0; 95% CI: 1.5-2.6, p<0.001). In 2018, 26.8% (95% CI: 24.6-29.1) of smokers said the appearance of a pack of cigarettes motivated them to quit, and 22.5% (95% CI: 18.3-27.2) ex-smokers cited it as having motivated them to quit. Smokers who were embarrassed by displaying their pack were more likely to be motivated to quit because of the pack's appearance. People with higher incomes were less likely to report motivation to quit due to the pack than people with the lowest income (OR=0.5; 95% CI: 0.3-0.7, p<0.001). Conclusions: In the French context, the new plain packaging of tobacco products probably had an impact on smokers' perception of tobacco by increasing the embarrassment they felt when they took out their pack of cigarettes in plain sight. It also influenced the motivation to quit smoking, and more generally, it could contribute to the denormalization of tobacco.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 2:20:56 PM
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Anne Pasquereau, Romain Guignard, Raphaël Andler, Karine Gallopel-Morvan, Viêt Nguyen-Thanh. Plain packaging on tobacco products in France: Effectiveness on smokers’ attitudes one year after implementation. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 2022, 20, pp.35. ⟨10.18332/tid/146600⟩. ⟨hal-03810432⟩



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