Cigarettes sold in plain packaging may soon become law in the EU, if anti-smoking activists get their way. Already a legal requirement in Australia, the European Commission is currently considering a pack branding ban, as well as an end to displays in shops. Supporters of the ban believe it would help to de-glamourise the habit.
“People stop smoking because there is plain packaging. And I think it is quite important that something is done in Europe about smoking because the last Eurobarometer survey clearly showed that in many countries the prevalence of smoking is still extremely high,” Professor Marc Decramer from the Catholic University of Leuven said.
The smoking industry say such a ban would increase smuggling by making packaging easier to counterfeit. Health experts, however, insist plain cigerette packets reduce the attractiveness of smoking, expecially among the young.
“The most important outcome will be that they are less likely to start smoking in the first place. I think we will see some difference among adult smokers. One of the things that it will do is, it will make them less likely to believe that one type of product is less harmful than another. But the main impact will be on preventing smoking on young people,” David Hammond from the University of Waterloo in Canada, said.
To see how a branding ban might affect Europe, we spoke to Australia’s ambassador to the EU. To see the full interview please click on the link above.