The study titled, ”Natural American Spirit’s pro-environment packaging and perceptions of reduced-harm cigarettes,” aimed to determine the effect of pro-environment marketing on cigarette packaging, which is viewed approximately 20 times a day by an average smoker.
“ECO-FRIENDLY and natural food products are seen as safer for health. That couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to cigarettes.”
The researchers conducted a survey, to gauge reactions to two major cigarette brands: Pall Mall, which is marketed as a discount brand, and Natural American Spirit, which is a super-premium brand that features a pro-environment marketing campaign.
Of course, both brands have the same health impacts, and are even owned by the same company, Reynolds American. Despite this, the study participants which included former and current smokers and people who had never smoked, consistently ranked Natural American Spirit as less harmful to both health and the environment.
“Ecofriendly and natural food products are seen as safer for health,” said study lead author Anna Epperson, a postdoctoral fellow with the Stanford Prevention Research Center. “That couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to cigarettes.”
Current smokers more likely to believe that eco-friendly cigarettes are healthier
The compiled data indicated that this bias was strongest among current smokers, and never and former adult smokers seemed to have a more realistic view on the harms of smoking. Of course this may be explained by the fact that current smokers are more likely to want to believe that a product they use is less harmful to both their health and the planet.