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In Australia, cool cigarette logos on packets have been replaced by plain packaging and graphic images that clearly illustrate the dangers of smoking, from as far back as 2012. It was the first country that adopted this strategy and now many others are following suit.

From 2011 to 2014 the number of 12 to 17 year-old students who had never smoked increased from 77.4% to 80.5%.
A couple of months back, the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea, also enforced this regulation on cigarette manufacturers, after which smoking-cessation clinics all across the country witnessed a two-fold increase of visitors. Additionally last November the court of appeal in the UK rejected Big Tobacco’s latest attempt to try and halt the implementation of a similar regulation, and subsequently plain packaging will also be introduced in the UK as of the coming May.

Latest data from the Australian Secondary Student’s Alcohol and Drug Survey, showed that from 2011 to 2014 the number of 12 to 17 year-old students who had never smoked increased from 77.4% to 80.5%. Additionally smoking rates for people aged 14 and above dropped from 15.1% to 12.8% between 2010-13, which resulted in 200,000 less smokers in this group.

A successful strategy catching on

Being aware that plain packaging is lowering cigarette sales, the tobacco industry has been fighting back these regulations by claiming that they are ineffective and against business fundamentals (brand identities). However they are not winning this battle. The list of countries besides the aforementioned that have either implemented or are thinking of implementing this regulation include Ireland, Scotland, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Norway, Chile and Singapore.