Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tobacco industry claims 'plain' packs won't work based on weak evidence

Date:
February 12, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Tobacco companies lack strong, relevant evidence to support their claims that standardized (plain) packaging of tobacco products in the UK won't work, finds research.

Tobacco companies lack strong, relevant evidence to support their claims that standardized (plain) packaging of tobacco products in the UK won't work, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

The aim of plain packaging, with no logos, brand imagery, symbols, or promotional text, is to restrict the already limited opportunities that transnational tobacco companies have to market their products, and deter people from starting smoking.

Australia adopted plain packaging for tobacco products in 2012, the same year that the Department of Health in England held a public consultation on similar plans. The Department then said it wanted to wait for more evidence of the likely impact on tobacco consumption before adopting the policy.

It has since commissioned an independent review of evidence relating to unbranded and standardized packaging, which is due to report this spring.

The researchers analyzed evidence cited in submissions made to the Department of Health's consultation on plain packaging by the UK's four largest transnational tobacco companies: Imperial Tobacco; Japan Tobacco International; Philip Morris Ltd; and British American Tobacco.

The four companies submitted lengthy consultation responses -- 1521 pages in total, of which 328 comprised their main responses and 1193 provided supplementary material.

In these submissions, the companies rejected the conclusions of a systematic review, commissioned by the Department of Health, that there was "strong evidence" that plain packaging would reduce the appeal of tobacco products and increase the prominence of health warnings.

Instead, they argued that there is no evidence that plain packaging would reduce smoking prevalence or deter people from starting to smoke.

The researchers looked at the volume, relevance (subject matter) and quality (as measured by independence from industry, and peer review) of the evidence cited by the companies and compared it with the evidence from the systematic review.

Seventy seven out of 143 pieces of evidence were used to promote the companies' claim that plain packs "won't work." Of these, only 17 (22%) addressed standardized packaging, 14 of which were linked to industry. None was published in peer reviewed journals -- a key hallmark of quality.

Compared with the evidence in the systematic review, relevant evidence cited by the tobacco industry was of significantly lower quality.

Across all 77 documents, evidence linked to industry was significantly less likely to have been published in a peer reviewed journal than the independent evidence cited by them.

"With few exceptions, evidence cited by [transnational companies] to promote their claim that standardized packaging 'won't work' lacks either policy relevance or key indicators of quality," conclude the authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. L. Hatchard, G. J. Fooks, K. A. Evans-Reeves, S. Ulucanlar, A. B. Gilmore. A critical evaluation of the volume, relevance and quality of evidence submitted by the tobacco industry to oppose standardised packaging of tobacco products. BMJ Open, 2014; 4 (2): e003757 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003757

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Tobacco industry claims 'plain' packs won't work based on weak evidence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212212349.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, February 12). Tobacco industry claims 'plain' packs won't work based on weak evidence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212212349.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Tobacco industry claims 'plain' packs won't work based on weak evidence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212212349.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

WH: We Can Stop Spread of Ebola in Its Tracks

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reaffirmed the administration's confidence in the CDC's ability to keep the Ebola virus from spreading. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins