Australian 'Plain Pack' Law on Cigarettes

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As of December 1st 2012, Australia leads the world on the war against Tobacco by becoming the first Country in the world to enforce a ‘Plain Packaging’ law on Cigarettes, stripping off all brand logos, colors and any brand related graphics. 

 

 

Cigarettes, regardless of the brand, will come in a dark olive box with a large health warning printed on front such as “Smoking Harms Babies”, “Smoking Causes Blindness”, “Smoking Causes Throat Mouth and Throat Cancer” The warnings are also accompanied by graphic images of ill babies, a large eye ball, a mouth with cancerous sores and rotting teeth, a sick child in a hospital etc. The brand name will now be printed on the bottom under the photo in a generic typeface. 

The ultimate goal of this drastic change in the packaging of cigarettes is to deglamourize cigarettes and deter children and young adults from picking up smoking. Preventing smokers from becoming walking advertisement for the unhealthy habit.
 
Personally, I think the attempt definitely limits the big brands from gaining brand loyalties amongst new smokers. Would it reduce the amount of youngsters taking up smoking? Probably not, as long as it remains the starter symbol of ‘rebelliousness’.
 
Non-smoking campaigns sure worked on my generation (born after 1980) We can name the risks of smoking by the 5th grade, and wrinkle our noses every time someone lights up. It is us who made puppy eyes at our parents and plead them to stop smoking. (Or if you’re like me, you cut a pack of cigarettes in half and put it in a zip lock bag with a note on it…yeah…that did not end well) 
 
So, why then, do we still see young adults and teens smoke? Because the true brand of cigarettes is not Marlboro, Camel or Lucky Strikes anymore, it’s ‘The Rebellion’ image that comes with it. Unfortunately, that brand is hard to cover up with plain text and scary images. 
As a community of packaging designers, what do you think of the Australian government’s actions?

Do you think that by taking out all brand associations with cigarettes, it will reduce smoking amongst young adults?

Please share your thoughts below. 

 

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