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Plain Packaging Part Two: We had a fabulous response to our blog about plain packaging.

Written by and Sue Bolshaw | Last Updated 25 May 2012

Plain Packaging Part Two: We had a fabulous response to our blog about plain packaging. Here is a taster of some of the discussion that followed on our Facebook page

Sue Glazier: As if that’s going to make any difference at all. As a smoker I didn’t take any notice at all of the packaging my tobacco came in. It was just a means of identifying one brand from another. And as for them thinking it will stop teenagers from smoking, that’s rubbish too. If they are able to get hold of cigs, they also don’t care how they are packaged. At that age its just a case of “ooh look at me, I’m so mature I’m smoking now” and they just tend to get them from whoever they can no matter what package they are in. That’s my opinion from when I was smoking and I still feel the same now as a very happy non smoker.

Kelly Kathrineberg: I have to say that I don’t agree with plain packaging. Cigarettes have to be treated like any other product that is bad for you. The more the cigarette is treated like some special little thing that might have something for people, the less easy it is to realize the things that Easy Way teaches. I do agree that graphic pictures (or commercials) containing people living the smoker’s greatest fear only serve to de-sensitize the smoker, just like calling them “Coffin Nails” or anything else. After a while, the smoker just resigns to having chosen what they will die from, as I had. Easy Way was truly the ticket out of that thinking. I was in control as is obvious by over 5 years of having been a happy non-smoker. Packaging doesn’t help the smoker realize they could be like us. Hopefully it doesn’t in some way contribute to the notions that help the smoker justify smoking.

David Cook: I smoked for 15+ years and quit smoking after reading the book. I feel truly blessed that my brain has done a complete 180 when it comes to smoking. That being said, my cell phone has a nifty case, and I’m sure companies are more than ready to pounce on plain packaged cigarettes to ‘style’ them with some kind of sleeve. Educating our kids early and constantly on the highlights the book had to offer are key. I particularly like the analogy the describes the lady getting ready to go out on the town one evening. She gets dressed up, does her hair and make-up to perfection, puts on an enticing body spray or perfume, and then lights up a cigarette, only to smell completely foul. She wouldn’t in her right mind do that, as smokers are not in their right mind. They are killing themselves, and paying handsomely to do so.

Shauna Taylor: Robinson Makes no difference at all.a better idea would be to ban them form the shops full stop

Debbie Bourne: to be honest I don’t think it will make any difference. In my opinion one can only give up the cigs when you truly want to. I tried at the beginning of the year and failed then one day something clicked in my head, I was out walking and threw everything I had to do with smoking (cigs lighter) in the bin. That was 8 weeks ago and I have not looked back not smoked since x

Jean Reynolds: I smoked from when I was 15 until I was 60.. Read the book and never smoked again that was 18 months ago… Must admit though that when I smoked they could have packaged them in a brown paper bag & I would still have smoked quite happily…
Instead of wasting money on repackaging the money would be better spent on buying lots of copies of the easy way to stop smoking books & handing them out to all smokers who wish to quit..

Felipe Sanint: I agree that has to be with a big advert campaign for young children. and quitting smoking. It won’t work if it is alone.

Mike BenEzra: ‎“b) plain packs will have nil impact on current smokers and current smoker behaviour – other than to perhaps annoy smokers and (in some cases) make them even more determined to carry on.

c) if there is the slightest chance that plain packs will reduce the number of kids starting to smoke – we really do have to support it – there is an epidemic of youngsters taking up smoking….even if it’s the equivalent of bailing out a sinking boat with a teacup – at least it’s doing something!!”

b is certainly true. And the feeling behind c is certainly understandable… however, (especially considering the fact that b is true) I don’t understand how plain packs will reduce the number of kids starting to smoke.

Are there any young people who decided to buy a pack of cigarettes simply because they like the packaging?

That’s kind of an odd question for me to ask… young people can’t buy cigarettes at all. They’ve got to be at least 18. Young people’s cigarettes come from somebody else’s pack. Not sure how plain packaging will help those young people.

As for those who start smoking at 18… I fail to see how plain packages would have any impact on them as well.

I’m open to suggestion.

John Dicey, Worldwide Director, Allen Carr’s Easyway:
Thank you all for your amazing comments.
You make a lot of sense Mike…addictive drugs don’t really need any fancy packaging to sell and most kids in London probably live no more than a mile from somewhere they can buy ANYTHING – whether it be cannabis, heroin, coke – whatever – none of which comes in branded packs.

Having said that…..cigarettes are being targeted increasingly at kids and women and packaging plays a huge part in that. For kids – familiarity with a brand ie having seen older relatives smoking them or people outside cafes smoking them is certainly in the mix somewhere. How powerful is it? Who knows – but as we say – if plain packaging prevented just one youngster from falling into the trap it’d be worth it.

Maybe we can cast our own minds back to our own childhoods. Before I was 8 years old I could name (and identify by their pack livery) Marlboro, Rothmans, Embassy, John Player Special, Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Camel, and Lambert & Butler. Of course that was in the days of advertising on TV, in newspapers and magazines, and sponsorship of major sporting events – but the same kind of influence applies today.

Remember – tobacco companies don’t just want kids to start smoking – they want them to start smokingTHEIR brand….take the packaging away – and I guess – somewhere along the line – somehow – that job is made harder. The fact that BIG TOBACCO are fighting against plain packaging so aggressively is possibly a clue as to how much, or little, impact they believe it might have.

In a nutshell – as we say in the piece – plain packaging only really makes sense alongside a policy of helping existing smokers to stop by providing them with an effective method to do so. Without that – youngsters will remain surrounded by the greatest “brand ambassadors” (for BIG TOBACCO) there could possibly ever be; mums, dads, uncles, aunts, and family friends.

Allen Carr’s Easyway Organisation has it’s Head Office in London, England. Allen Carr’s Easyway To Stop Smoking Clinic, London, is located in the same building and offers help to stop smoking, help to stop drinking alcohol, and help to lose weight as well as help to quit drugs (issues with prescription drugs, cocaine, heroin, crack, cannabis, and other addictions also).