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Adolescent girls and young adult women's perceptions of superslims cigarette packaging: a qualitative study

Abstract

Objectives To explore perceptions of superslims packaging, including compact ‘lipstick’ packs, in line with 3 potential impacts identified within the impact assessment of the European Union (EU) Tobacco Products Directive: appeal, harm perceptions and the seriousness of warning of health risks.

Design Qualitative focus group study.

Setting Informal community venues in Scotland, UK.

Participants 75 female non-smokers and occasional smokers (age range 12–24).

Results Compact ‘lipstick’-type superslims packs were perceived most positively and rated as most appealing. They were also viewed as less harmful than more standard sized cigarette packs because of their smaller size and likeness to cosmetics. Additionally, ‘lipstick’ packs were rated as less serious in terms of warning about the health risks associated with smoking, either because the small font size of the warnings was difficult to read or because the small pack size prevented the text on the warnings from being displayed properly. Bright pack colours and floral designs were also thought to detract from the health warning.

Conclusions As superslims packs were found to increase appeal, mislead with respect to level of harm, and undermine the on-pack health warnings, this provides support for the decision to ban ‘lipstick’-style cigarette packs in the EU and has implications for policy elsewhere.

  • Tobacco packaging
  • health warnings
  • superslims
  • QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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