WILL PLAIN CIGARETTE PACKAGING EQUAL TO LESS PUFF?
Written by: Nqobile Msomi
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has pushed for cigarette packaging to be less attractive and show pictures of consequences of smoking with the hopes of reducing the appetite for smoking.
“Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products. It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan at the World No Tobacco Day.
“It restricts tobacco advertising and promotion. It limits misleading packaging and labelling, and it increases the effectiveness of health warnings,” added Chan.
Plain packaging of tobacco products restricts or prohibits the use of logos, colours, brand images and promotional information on packaging other than brand and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style.
South African Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, said at the World Health Assembly in Geneva that all ministers of health are united on the plain packaging. All cigarettes, regardless of what brand, must be on one brown package with graphic signs that shows the damage that cigarettes can cause.
Siyabonga Dlamini, who has been a smoker of eight years, said that it was a good initiative to try and limit the number of new smokers. However, is adamant that it is not going to stop seasoned smokers.
“Trust me they do want to stop, but they are trapped. So it’s going to help people who are new, maybe these high school students who are still trying it out. It might have a good impact on them,” concluded Dlamini.
Precious Luthuli, a non-smoker said, “I would say obviously packaging is the most crucial thing to sell a product to someone. So if you would sell a plain box, I don’t think anyone would pay so much interest in having what’s inside because it’s nothing sold on the outside.”
*Picture: Marlboro cigarette bud, with colourful packaging