You don't need to be signed in to read BMJ Blogs, but you can register here to receive updates about other BMJ products and services via our site.

Social marketing

New Zealand study: Dissuasive cigarette sticks – the next step in standardised (‘plain’) packaging?

1 Apr, 16 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

 

A study published by Tobacco Control in December 2015 by a team of New Zealand and Australian researchers explored extending the concept of plain packaging one step further – to the cigarette stick itself. New Zealand is moving towards introducing plain packaging; incorporating dissuasive cigarette sticks would put it at the forefront of innovative tobacco control measures.

The study authors explain more in a blog published by Aspire 2025 and reproduced here with permission:

As New Zealand moves towards legislating for plain packaging of cigarettes, the Government should consider measures that extend and improve upon Australia’s model, ASPIRE2025 researchers believe.

In this study, based on an online survey of 313 New Zealand smokers, our researchers and colleagues in Australia have found that cigarette sticks with printed health warnings or unattractive colours could enhance the effects of plain packaging and further reduce the appeal smoking has to young people.

Professor Janet Hoek says the team tested reactions to images of four cigarette sticks that either featured printed warnings or had unattractive colours, such as yellow-brown and green.

“We found that smokers were significantly less likely to choose the test sticks and found all significantly less appealing than the status quo — a white cigarette with a brown filter tip,” she says.

A “minutes of life lost” graphic that went from one minute near the tip up to 15 near the butt had the strongest aversive effect relative to the other sticks tested.

“Requiring cigarette sticks and rolling paper to feature such a graphic, or to be produced in dissuasive colours, would likely increase the impact plain packaging will have on those who smoke, while also deterring others from taking up smoking,” Professor Hoek says.

View a short video about this research here:

Study abstract:
Background
Standardised (or ‘plain’) packaging has reduced the appeal of smoking by removing imagery that smokers use to affiliate themselves with the brand they smoke. We examined whether changing the appearance of cigarette sticks could further denormalise smoking and enhance the negative impact of standardised packaging.

Methods
We conducted an online study of 313 New Zealand smokers who comprised a Best–Worst Choice experiment and a rating task. The Best–Worst experiment used a 2×3×3×6 orthogonal design to test the following attributes: on-pack warning message, branding level, warning size and stick appearance.

Results
We identified three segments whose members’ choice patterns were strongly influenced by the stick design, warning theme and size, and warning theme, respectively. Each of the dissuasive sticks tested was less preferred and rated as less appealing than the most common stick in use; a ‘minutes of life lost’ stick was the most aversive of the stimuli tested.

Conclusions
Dissuasive sticks could enhance the effect of standardised packaging, particularly among older smokers who are often more heavily addicted and resistant to change. Countries introducing standardised packaging legislation should take the opportunity to denormalise the appearance of cigarette sticks, in addition to removing external tobacco branding from packs and increasing the warning size.

Citation
Hoek, J., Gendall, P., Eckert, C., & Louviere, J. (2015). Dissuasive cigarette sticks: the next step in standardised (‘plain’) packaging?. Tobacco control, tobaccocontrol-2015. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052533

For more information, contact:
Professor Janet Hoek
University of Otago
Email janet.hoek@otago.ac.nz

UK: New ‘Quit 16′ campaign tells smokers’ stories

16 Feb, 16 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

A series of emotional and hard-hitting television ads have been launched in the UK to tell the stories of real former smokers who have been affected by cancer. The ads detail the trauma of diagnosis, the harrowing treatments that they endured and the emotional and physical toll in their lives.

Maggie, a 60 year old former heavy smoker who was diagnosed with mouth cancer when she was 45, says “never in a million years did I think I would get cancer…I never thought for one moment it would be me”. In order to remove the cancer, she had to have one side of her mouth removed and now needs to wear an obturator – a prosthesis in her mouth with false teeth and a piece to replace the roof of her mouth – which allows her to eat and talk.

The ‘16’ in the campaign refers to 16 types of cancers that can be caused by smoking. It aims to raise awareness about some of the lesser-known health impacts among smokers, and inspire them to quit to reduce their risk of developing smoking-related cancers. As Maggie says in the video, although she knew about lung cancer, she had never heard of mouth cancer. She discusses understanding that people enjoy a cigarette, and she did too, but “when I look back at what I had to go through, was it worth it? No. Definitely not.”

Tony, a 55 year old who had to have much of the inside of his neck removed when he was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer talks about how he used to spend a lot of time swimming “but now I can’t because if water does get in there, it’s just straight into the lungs….it’s affected all my life. Everything I used to do, I can’t do anymore.”

For more about the campaign, visit quit16.co.uk.

A model truth

7 Dec, 15 | by Becky Freeman, Web Editor

The fashion industry and cigarettes have long gone hand-in-hand, but in a refreshing and modern take on marketing tobacco control messages to young people, the US-based truth® campaign has partnered with fashion model Tyra Banks to launch the “Smoke Your Eyes, Not Cigarettes” campaign.

—-

The “Smoke Your Eyes, Not Cigarettes” collaboration with truth shapes perceptions of health and beauty with the goal of saving lives.

Banks’ own grandmother passed away from serious complications caused by long-term tobacco use.

“During my modeling career, never did I once light up a cigarette. There was enough ‘smoke’ around my eyes… I didn’t need any in my lungs!” says Banks.

Since the launch of the truth campaign in 2000, teen cigarette use has dropped from 23% to just 8%. However, while cigarette smoking has declined, tobacco use as a whole has remained steady due to emerging tobacco products like flavored cigars and hookah as well as the misperceptions surrounding social smoking. truth aims to spark conversations about tobacco.

Source: LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – Nov 12, 2015)

CHANTAL_large

 

 

This artistic ad from Thailand will make you think…and gasp

27 May, 15 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

The opening of this video is intriguing – thick black ink dropping into water, then a paintbrush slowly making a bold black stroke across canvas. The paintbrush has been dipped in what looks like a high quality art paint jar…but it is no ordinary ink. As the ad states, it is the life’s work of a man who spent 50 years to make every drop of it.

Developed by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation in collaboration with Chulalongkorn university and Bbdo Proximity Thailand, The Message from the Lungs is the latest creative, and highly effective, ad to reduce smoking in Thailand. According to Thai Health, it has already resulted in a five-fold increase in quit smoking program participation. Watch it below:

https://vimeo.com/126220314

Indonesia: court upholds tobacco tax to fund health

4 Oct, 14 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

Abdillah Ahsan
Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia

Good news on tobacco control from Indonesia is rare. Recently, however there was a victory in the area of tobacco tax.

On 1 January 2014, Law No. 28 of 2009 on regional taxes was introduced, which allows local provinces in Indonesia to charge a local tax to cigarettes. The tariff is 10% of cigarette excise.

This tax collectively amounts to about USD 796 Million, a significant sum. Following successful international examples for funding tobacco control, a minimum of 50% of the funds raised from the tax are to be used for health promotion, in particular through public anti-smoking campaigns and enforcing smoke free public spaces. This means local governments have the authority to decide on strengthening tobacco control measures for their provinces and cities.

Unfortunately, five smokers challenged this cigarette tax policy in the Constitutional Court, calling for its abolition. Their argument was that the policy harms the constitutional rights of cigarette smokers as consumers by requiring them to pay both excise tax and local cigarette tax. They argued this amounts to double taxation, which is prohibited by the tax law and is unjust.

However public health won, and the suit was rejected by the Constitutional Court in May 19, 2014. In the judgment, the Court stated that in accordance with Law No. 11/1995 on Excise Tax, the subject of excise tax is manufacturers, distributors, and importers, while its object includes cigarettes, cigars, tobacco leaf and tobacco strips. In the provisions of Articles 26 and 27 of the Local Tax Law on the other hand, the object of local cigarette taxes is consumption of cigarettes and the subject of this tax is cigarette consumers. “Thus, there is a difference between the object and the subject of excise tax in comparison to the object and subject of local cigarette tax,” said one of the Constitutional Judges.

The Court ruled that the cigarette excise tax paid together with local cigarette tax is the “politics of taxation” to increase state revenues as well as provide compensation on the negative health impacts of smoking. According to the judge, “Simultaneous excise tax and local cigarette tax have positive impact on reducing cigarette consumption and improve society’s health.”

Several benefits will arise from the Court’s rejection of the suit and implementation of the tax. The first is that the local cigarette tax will increase cigarette prices, thereby making cigarettes less affordable, and in turn likely direct reducing smoking uptake among children. The second benefit is local governments will receive increased funds as revenue to go towards local development and increased living standards. A third benefit is the increased funding available to be used exclusively for health promotion and law enforcement. This includes anti-tobacco campaigns and strengthened enforcement of tobacco control regulations such as non smoking areas.

Together, these measures will change the scenario of tobacco control at the local level and enhance local government efforts to better protect children and the poor from the harms of tobacco. It represents a welcome step forward in a country that has been dubbed a paradise for tobacco companies due to lax regulation.

Campaign aimed at young adults

19 Jun, 14 | by Becky Freeman, Web Editor

New series of ads from New Zealand aimed at young adults – an important and hard to reach group.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8Ix86V3VFU

New WHO report: more tobacco advertising bans, smoke free spaces save millions of lives

11 Jul, 13 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

 

The World Health Organisation Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2013 was launched in Panama City on 10 July. Panama was selected as the venue for this high level, global event in recognition of the country’s leadership in tobacco control.

The report shows the number of people worldwide covered by at least one life-saving measure to limit tobacco use has more than doubled in the last five years. Three billion people are now covered by national anti-tobacco campaigns. Other highlights include:

  • The number of people covered by tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) bans, the focus of this year’s report, increased by almost 400 million people, the majority of whom reside in low and middle-income countries.
  • 24 countries with 694 million people have introduced complete TAPS bans. However, 67 countries currently do not ban any TAPS activities, or have a ban that excludes advertising in national broadcast and print media.
  •  Effective health warning labels on tobacco packaging continue to be established by more countries. In the past five years, a total of 20 countries with 657 million people put strong warning label requirements in place.
  • More than half a billion people in nine countries have gained access to appropriate cessation services in the past five years. However, there has been little progress since 2010, as only four additional countries with a combined population of 85 million were newly provided access to cost-covered services including a toll-free national quit line.
  • Creation of smoke-free public places and workplaces continues to be the most commonly established measure at the highest level of achievement. 32 countries have passed complete smoking bans covering all work places, public places and public transportation means between 2007 and 2012, protecting nearly 900 million additional people.
  • Nearly 3.8 billion people (54% of the world’s population) live in a country that has aired at least one national anti-tobacco mass media campaign on TV and/or radio for a duration of at least three weeks in the past two years.

The report is the fourth in a series by WHO on MPOWER measures – the six evidence-based tobacco control measures that are the most effective in reducing tobacco use. (Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies, Protect people from tobacco smoke, Offer help to quit tobacco use, Warn people about the dangers of tobacco, Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and Raise taxes on tobacco

Read more and download the report here.

Click here for additional reporting from the World Lung Foundation.

Cameroon: Cigarettes are eating your baby alive campaign

4 Jul, 13 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

 

Today marks the launch of the first-ever national mass media campaign to warn people of Cameroon about the harms of tobacco. The campaign, called ‘Cigarettes Are Eating Your Baby Alive,’ was developed by the Ministry of Health and World Lung Foundation. It graphically depicts how tobacco harms not both smokers, as well as their children and loved ones exposed to tobacco smoke. It will air on TV, radio, outdoor venues and SMS for eight weeks. The campaign is designed to empower citizens with new knowledge and spur advocacy and government to protect citizens from tobacco.

The campaign concept was rated as effective by African audiences in rigorous testing of tobacco control messaging conducted by World Lung Foundation in 2012. It was originally developed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and has been used effectively in Bangladesh, India, Mexico, Russia, and Vietnam, among other countries.

This mass media campaign was carried out with the technical and financial support of the Africa Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC), Africa Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) and the Framework Convention Alliance. Additional funding was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

To view the public service announcement (French and English), click here.

Cameroon - cigarettes are eating you and your baby

World No Tobacco Day: a wrap up of reports and pictures from around the world

4 Jul, 13 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

 

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is held every year on 31 May. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners everywhere highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. In 2013, the theme was ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

A comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship is required under the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) for all Parties. Evidence shows that comprehensive advertising bans lead to reductions in the numbers of people starting and continuing smoking.  Statistics show that banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco demand and thus a tobacco control “best buy”.Despite the effectiveness of comprehensive bans, only 6% of the world’s population was fully protected from exposure to the tobacco industry advertising, promotion and sponsorship tactics in 2010.

To help reduce tobacco use, comprehensive advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans work to counteract:

  • the deceptive and misleading nature of tobacco marketing campaigns;
  • the unavoidable exposure of youth to tobacco marketing;
  • the failure of the tobacco industry to effectively self-regulate; and
  • the ineffectiveness of partial bans.

Attempts by the tobacco industry to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) are becoming ever more aggressive. For example, where jurisdictions have banned advertising of tobacco products through point-of-sale displays – known as tobacco “powerwalls” – or banned the advertising and promotional features of tobacco packaging through standardised packaging, the tobacco industry has sued governments in national courts and through international trade mechanisms. The tobacco industry also uses sponsorship and especially corporate social responsibility tactics to trick public opinion into believing in their respectability and good intentions while they manoeuver to hijack the political and legislative process. Click here to read more about WHO WNTD 2013 and see campaign materials.

World No Tobacco Day Awards

Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organisations for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This year, Mr Paul Kasereka Lughembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Honourable Dr Pradit Sintavanarong, Minister of Public Health, the Kingdom of Thailand were recognised for the WHO Director-General Special awards. His Excellency the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Republic of Turkey received the WHO Director-General’s Special Recognition certificate. Click here to read a full list of awards given in all six WHO regions.

Other events by country/region:

Bolivia: the Health and Sport Ministry, in coordination with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), WHO, the  Municipal Government of La Paz, the Bolivian Police and Armed Forces organised a  festival to inform people of the negative effects that nicotine produces on the  body. WNTD was also an opportunity highlight the findings from a study which showed increased smoking among young women, and a lower age of initiation. Read more here.

Congo: The tobacco control group ROCAT in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Population and WHO Country celebrated World No Tobacco Day 2013 with a series of events including a press Conference by the Minister of Health briefing, outreach campaigns, and TV and radio coverage. Read more here.

Gabon: WNTD in Gabon focused on a number of high level meetings held with key authorities including the President of the National Assembly and the Minister Delegate to Health. Held from 28-30 May, the meetings were a chance to discuss government policy making in relation to tobacco control. Read more here.

India: a range of events were held around the country, including a national stakeholder consultation on improving the implementation of TAPS bans, rallies, skits, art exhibitions and ‘walls of shame’ of TAPS violations. Read more here.

Jamaica: An outside broadcast addressing tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) was held, as well as a national forum. Read more here.

Pacific Islands: The Cook Islands received a WHO WNTD award for its progress in tobacco control since ratifying the FCTC in 2004. Several countries also participated in a project designed to encourage sharing of information by email.  Participating countries chose a letter from W, N, T or D to display as part of their activities with a flag in the photo.  The intention is to make a poster of tobacco control in the Pacific by “stitching” the photos together featuring the letters to spell out WNTD 2013. Read more here.

Pakistan: Activities included seminars, orientation sessions, rallies/walks, speech/poster/sports competitions, interactive theatre, signature campaigns, banner/poster displays, picketing & meetings. Participants included local government officials, law enforcement authorities, parliamentarians, health & education government departments, media, lawyers, civil society organizations, youth and community members. In Islamabad,  a 150 feet long banner carrying signatures from tobacco control activists from all over the country demanding strict tobacco control laws and their effective implementation was displayed. Read more here.

Poland: A seminar  to integrate efforts for effective enforcement of ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship took place on 29 May. It was accompanied by a photographic exhibition featuring examples of tobacco industry violation and circumvention of TAPS bans at sport events and other cultural, educational, social and political activities. Read more here.

Romania: World No Tobacco Day in Romania highlighted the European Commission’s Ex-smokers are unstoppable’ campaign. A media roundtable was held, where two doctors discussed the benefits of smoking cessation. Two ex-smokers also shared their personal stories of quitting smoking. Read more here.

Switzerland: NGO CIPRET ran an advertisement campaign in the canton of Geneva for WNTD with posters displayed in over 350 locations throughout the city and canton, and large ads in newspaper. As Switzerland has very weak legislation concerning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship the campaign was somewhat provocative – and provoked a strong reaction from the advertising industry. This post also contains an outline of events at WHO headquarters. Read more here.

The Philippines: The Philippines took a creative and confronting approach to WNTD. In the capital Manila, commuters were stunned to find grisly crime scenes in various locations in the metro. The cause of death: tobacco. The tobacco ‘crime scenes’ were actually art installations vividly illustrating what tobacco companies don’t want people to see: smoking kills. Read more here.

USA: Is this the world that tobacco ads hope to build? This the question asked by a video produced by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). Click here.

Vietnam: social media, a bike rally and public transport get the message out. The national week of Tobacco Control in Vietnam kicked off with a ceremony held on 25 May, which attracted 450 participants from the National Assembly, Government Offices, related Ministries, WHO Vietnam, Tobacco Control Working Groups, mass media and students. Colourful local events were also held in Hue and Nha Trang cities. Read more here.

 

World No Tobacco Day India: rallies, art, skits, walls of shame and policy progress

4 Jul, 13 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor

 

 

National: Government and NGOs join hands to completely ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS)

Credit: Nikunj Sharma, HRIDAY

A national level multi-stakeholder consultation was held in New Delhi, at which the government and NGOs resolved in favour of a complete ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) of tobacco products. The health secretary of the ministry of health and family welfare, Shri Keshav Desiraju while inaugurating the wall of shame said: “We will issue guidelines to the departments concerned to ensure that appropriate action is taken to prevent violation of TAPS”.

The intent of the consultation was to deliberate on development of national guidelines/recommendations for a ban on TAPS and effective enforcement of Section 5 of COTPA – the Indian tobacco control law, which prohibits any form of direct or indirect TAPS. State Focal Points (Tobacco Control), State Consultants (NTCP), State WHO Consultants and civil society organizations working on tobacco control, from nearly 15 sates of the country attended the consultation.

Major highlights of the consultation included:

  • Unveiling of A ‘Wall of Shame’ – a photo exhibition of TAPS violations
  • Release of an advocacy film      covering various kinds of TAPS violations
  • Release of an advocacy toolkit

The consultation was organized by HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) and Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) in collaboration with The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), GoI and World Health Organization Country Office for India.

Tamil Nadu: Illustrations to counter challenges against Tobacco

Credit: S Cyril Alexander, Mary Anne Charity Trust

Mary Anne Charity Trust (MACT) is an NGO in Tamil Nadu state which works actively in the advocacy of change in policies related to tobacco. MACT along with Tamil Nadu State Tobacco Control Cell, Cancer Society India and other NGOS organised “Tamil Nadu- Illustrators for Tobacco Control,” on May 31 to commemorate World No Tobacco Day.

The Mayor of Chennai Corporation, Honourable Saidai Samiyappan Duraisamy inaugurated the event and gave the key note address. The mayor appreciated the goal of the event to take the art works to the government schools and educate the children about the danger of consuming tobacco.

20 illustrators joined to create art works on various tobacco related concepts. They used their creative skills to create awareness on the negative effects of tobacco products. They addressed key issues like negative effects of smoking, health problems caused due to tobacco products, and economic loss of the smokers’ family.

The public got an opportunity to see the illustrators in action. They gathered around the illustrators with curiosity and were much thrilled about the work that was carried out. The event met with its objective when the public enthusiastically discussed about tobacco and its ill effects.

The illustrations that were created will serve as knowledge building tool in exhibitions conducted in schools across the state in an effort to educate the kids on the ill effects of tobacco.

MACT photo 1 MACT photo 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucknow, Mumbai and Kanpur activities organised by the Cancer Aid Society

Credit: Preeti Gupta and Neha Tripathi, Cancer Aid Society India

WNTD was busy in Lucknow. Activities included a rally, a cancer screening camp, and a ‘wall of shame’ of violations of India’s TAPS ban.  This was followed by a pledge for non-smoking and quiz competition. Similar activities, also organised by the Cancer Aid Society, were held in Mumbai and Kanpur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Delhi: poster and skit competitions

Credit: Rita Thokchom, Indian Cancer Society

The Indian Cancer Society, Delhi, organised a poster and skit competition, held in the lead up to WNTD. Some of the photos of the winners are below:

Indian Cancer Society pic 2Indian Cancer society photo 1

TC blog homepage

TC Blog

Analysis and debate of the latest tobacco control research findings and policy developments. Visit site



Creative Comms logo

Latest from Tobacco Control

Latest from Tobacco Control