Dull ciggie packs may discourage smoking: Experts

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Melbourne, Mar 15 (UNI) In order to discourage young smokers from puffing, cigarettes should be sold in dull, homogenous packs stamped only with a brand name and a health warning, a new report has suggested.

The report by Australian public health researchers published in the international journal Addiction revealed that tobacco companies treasured glitzy packs as their most powerful marketing tool.

As the law prevents them from advertising, the main promotion is via the pack, Professor Simon Chapman said.

''Pack design is now the leading way of making tobacco products attractive and interesting, particularly to young starters,'' the Australian quoted him as saying.

The experts called for all cigarettes to be sold in plain cardboard packs marked only with the brand and the standard health warnings.

''Prescription drugs are all sold in plain packaging without alluring colours and imagery,'' Prof Chapman, who has been awarded the World Health Organisation (WHO) medal for tobacco control, said.

Plain packaging might seem a radical policy today, but the same was once said about banning tobacco advertising, sports sponsorship and banning smoking in workplaces.

The WHO recently forecasted that one billion people would die from tobacco-caused diseases this century.

This was an addictive lethal product that caused 15,000 deaths every year but the terrible truth was we still glamourised the packaging, Anne Jones, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said.

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