Moodie C, Angus K & Stead M (2019) A systematic review of research exploring the response of consumers, retailers and tobacco companies to standardised packaging in the United Kingdom. Public Health Research Consortium. Stirling.
Introduction The UK fully implemented standardised packaging for cigarettes and rolling tobacco in May 2017, after a twelve month transition period. We conducted a systematic review of published research exploring consumer, tobacco company and retail response to this policy. Methods We searched for peer-reviewed published studies which explored consumer, retailer or tobacco company response to standardised packaging in the UK. Studies were screened against inclusion criteria. Data from included studies were extracted into standardised forms and each study was critically appraised. Findings were reported by narrative synthesis. Results Eleven papers, reporting on ten studies, were included, with five studies examining consumer responses to standardised packaging, and five studies exploring the response of tobacco companies and changes in the retail environment. In three consumer studies standardised packaging was associated with increased warning salience, but there was limited evidence of the impacts on smoking behaviour. Evidence from tobacco company and retail studies showed that standardised packs were not widely available until late in the transition period, although compliance with the legislation was high. Tobacco prices, for rolling tobacco and for cigarettes in each price segment (premium, mid-price, value), increased from May 2016 to October 2017. Discussion Standardised packaging appears to have increased warning salience but there is a need for research, after it was fully implemented, on perceptions of appeal and harm, behavioural impact, and unintended consequences, if any. Possible pack, price and retail related policy options are discussed.
plain packaging; cigarettes; tobacco; rolling tobacco; packs; marketing; UK; England; Northern Ireland; Scotland; Wales; consumers; retailers; tobacco industry; legislation; systematic review; evidence review