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The effect of the proposed new government warning format for cigarette packaging on purchase and smoking intent

English Abstract

The space used for labels in tobacco packaging is a war zone between the governments’ and the manufacturers’ contradictory messages. A war fought for over 30 years. The latest development is the toughest requirement for cigarette packaging design effective in Australia in December 2012: the government warning message prevails in terms of share of space, to the extent that the manufacturers can say nothing except the brand name in a mandated font style, size and color and this is termed as “plain packaging” even though the packaging is not plain at all but full of government message. However, due to the possible boomerang effect, non-smoking youngster may possibly be driven by their defiance to try cigarettes, ironically due to the exacerbated government message. While other governments are contemplating on whether to follow suit or not, this research is a timely study examining the effects of the Australian format of tobacco labeling on smoking and purchase intent of non-smoking youngster. And it is expected that brand familiarity moderates the main effects of labeling. A lab experiment was conducted with a 2 \(Existing vs. Plain Packaging format\) x 2 \(Familiar vs. Unfamiliar brand\) factorial design. Implications of government and brand policies have been discussed.

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Mak, Lai Kuan


Faculty of Business Administration




Smoking -- Prevention

Cigarettes -- Packaging

Cigarettes -- Labeling -- Law and legislation


Chow, Siu Fung

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