Sunday, 15 April 2012

It may be that plain packaging will stop kids smoking

This is what the Scotsman says, and it could be true. It may be the case that plain packaging will defy the expectations of everyone with any common sense.

Arguably this is also true, if you make certain allowances:
“The comprehensive review of evidence which accompanies the consultation makes it clear that a large body of academic tests and research consistently show plain packaging makes tobacco products less appealing to young people." [Sheila Duffy, ASH Scotland]
If you allow for the fact there is no way to test results empirically, yes, it is easy to believe that the only way to get a study in plain packaging published is to find that it would help reduce child smoking.

But no study can show such a result as there are no empirical data. There is no plain packaging in the shops yet. Studies can only speculate. Even if they find that plain packaging  reduces the appeal of tobacco in a controlled experiment, this has no bearing on what children will experience in the real world and young people have no way to predict their future wants and needs as their awareness increases in their progress to adulthood.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Ash, said: “The consultation is a welcome, further step in taking a considered, evidence-based approach to tobacco control and protecting children and young people from the harms of tobacco."

What harms are going to happen to 'chiiildren' from smoking?

The American CDC says there are no smoking related deaths below the age of 35!!!!

If plain packaging discourages the sale of cigarettes: why are black-market cigarettes that are sold on street corners in plain plastic bags, so very popular?

Gary K.

Junican said...

Note that the Duffy's of this world never actually say what the evidence actually is. They always refer to 'studies' and 'reserch' but never produce the studies.

I researched the studies about SIDS deaths. I found two on the internet which I could see the detail of. In neither case was the 'evidence' significant. In both, the numbers involved were just too low (60 people or so who had suffered a SIDS death). With such small numbers, you might as well see if there is a corelation with the soap used by the parents as anything else. In those circumstances, one might find that more parents used 'fabulous pink camay' than any other brand, and thus one could make an association with 'fabulous pink camay' in SIDS deaths.

(Yes....I know that I am showing my age)