Citation Moodie C & Ford A (2011) Young adult smokers' perceptions of cigarette pack innovation, pack colour and plain packaging. Australasian Marketing Journal, 19 (3), pp. 174-180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ausmj.2011.05.003
Abstract In jurisdictions where most forms of marketing tobacco are prohibited by law, such as the United Kingdom (UK), the tobacco industry is increasingly turning to innovative packaging to promote their products. Using focus group research we explored perceptions of packaging innovation (including cigarette packs with novel shapes and method of opening), and also plain packaging (all branding removed), among 54 young adult smokers aged 18–35 years, recruited in Glasgow, Scotland. We also examined smokers’ perceptions of pack and plain pack colour. It was found that packs with novel methods of opening, for instance, like a lighter or book, were considered to have a negligible impact upon brand selection, particularly among males. However, a small, narrow 'perfume' type pack created enormous interest among females and was perceived very favourably, being considered a fashion accessory and indeed one that helped minimise the health risks of smoking. Coloured plain packs (white, green, light blue, red) without a brand name, any brand descriptors or tar or nicotine levels, were identified by almost all smokers as signalling product strength. Consistent with past research the removal of branding from packs reduced the attractiveness and promotional appeal of the pack, with dark brown ‘plain’ packs perceived as more unappealing than light brown and dark and light grey packs by all groups. Dark brown non-branded packaging for tobacco products would help reduce the promotional appeal of the pack and ensure that pack colour does not provide consumers with false comfort about the health risks of smoking.