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Originally published November 27 2010

Will plain cigarette packaging help deter smoking?

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) U.K. officials have come up with a new proposition they say may help deter smoking: make cigarette packaging plain. Starting next year, government authorities in the U.K. will require cigarette manufacturers to block cigarette displays in stores to protect children. But now they are considering asking manufacturers to make cigarette boxes a simple brown or gray color in order to eliminate the glitz factor that attracts young people to smoke.

"The evidence is clear that packaging helps to recruit smokers, so it makes sense to consider having less attractive packaging," explained Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to BBC News. "It's wrong that children are being attracted to smoke by glitzy designs on packets."

Advocates of the plain labeling idea say that cigarette companies rely on packaging to lure in people of all persuasions to smoke. Some cigarette packets evoke feelings of masculinity, while others appear more feminine. Certain brands are even colored and designed in such a way as to give the appearance that they are healthier than other brands, even though this is not the case.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made some proposals of its own concerning cigarette packaging. The agency developed 36 highly graphic warning labels for cigarette boxes that would take up half the boxes ( The graphics include pictures of a corpse in a coffin, a body in a morgue, and a person smoking through a tracheotomy, which is a small breathing hole cut in the neck to allow someone with damaged lungs to breathe.

Opponents of the proposition say that cigarette packaging does not play a role in deterring smoking, and that it will do little to change smoking patterns.

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