At the start of 2017, it became mandatory for all cigarette products in France to change from attractive packaging to a repulsive one making France the second country in the world and the first in the EU to do this. In an effort to educate the public on the dangers and illnesses associated with smoking, it became mandatory for all cigarette companies in France to have plain packaging.
Australia was the first country to mandate plain tobacco packaging in 2012 and the United Kingdom will follow on May 20th2017. The purpose of this new packaging is to reduce the amount of people who start and continue smoking over the long term. And in Australia, the only country who has had this in place for multiple years now, it’s working. The number of teenage smokers has hit a record low and people are not smoking as much.
The packaging is making a difference.
This plain packaging requires there to be no branding on the package, such as colors, logos or imagery. The only way to distinguish which company is selling the product is by the small name on the front in lettering that is the same as other companies. The idea behind this dramatic change in packaging is to portray the truths that come along with the dangerous activity of smoking tobacco products.
It is amazing to think how changing the packaging can have such a large effect on consumers. As mentioned in a previous article on Green packaging, packaging is important although it may not always seem like it is. This is just another example of how it isn’t just the product that influences the consumer, but how it is portrayed.
This example on the impact of packaging shows how it and labels are meant to help and inform consumers not misinform them. In this particular case, it is a matter of health and safety (of the percentage of population who smokes) of consumers.