Janet Hoek, Philip Gendall, Richard Edwards, Shayne Nahu, Nick Wilson
From today, all tobacco products in New Zealand will start appearing in standardised, or plain, packages. In this blog, we discuss the importance of developing an on-going monitoring and evaluation plan around this intervention. We also explain why communications with smokers – whether on-pack or mass media – must be salient and timely to have strong and continuing impact on supporting quitting. Achieving all these actions should help to accelerate progress towards the NZ Government’s Smokefree 2025 goal.
Janet Hoek, Co-Director, ASPIRE2025 and Professor of Marketing and Philip Gendall, ASPIRE2025 and Emeritus Professor of Marketing
The Prime Minister’s decision to progress plain packaging legislation “sooner rather than later” is an important step towards our smokefree 2025 goal. There are four key areas for improving on Australia’s legislation to maximise the effectiveness of plain packaging:
- preventing the proliferation of brand variant names;
- improving the pictorial warning labels so these resonate more effectively with smokers;
- introducing dissuasive cigarette sticks and rolling papers, and
- foregrounding Quitline information and supportive cessation messages on packages.
Professor Janet Hoek and Emeritus Professor Philip Gendall
Given plain packaging of tobacco products will likely increase the tension many smokers experience, simple measures that enhance smokers’ access to cessation support, and affirm their decision to try and quit, could increase the number and success of quit attempts. This blog post details a just published study on this topic. It also suggests that New Zealand policy makers should ensure plain packaging regulations improve the current presentation of Quitline information and provide smokers with support to manage the dissonance plain packaging is likely to elicit.