Wakefield, Hayes, Durkin, and Borland (2013)

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A rather one-sided review of the Australian [plain packaging] experiment entitled Introduction effects of the Australian plain packaging policy on adult smokers: a cross-sectional study, notoriously used as proof of success in since one of its conclusions was

(smokers on plain packs) were more likely to have thought about quitting at least once a day in the past week (AdjOR=1.81, p=0.013) and to rate quitting as a higher priority in their lives (F=13.11, df=1, p<0.001).

Clearly, the implication that everyone who thinks about quitting, actually does, is nonsense.

The fact that these numbers equate to a nigh-on 10% difference in a cohort that seemed inclined to quit anyway doesn't really give much confidence in even the thoughts of the subjects:

57.1% of those smoking from branded packs were "seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months", whereas this rose to 68.8% for those smoking from plain packs.[1]

Note, too, that no follow-up was every carried out. The authors of the report still don't know how many of those 57.1% (or, indeed 68.8%) actually gave up!



  1. That plain packaging study - Velvet Glove, Iron Fist blog