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Addiction. 2011 Aug;106(8):1505-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03430.x. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Plain packaging increases visual attention to health warnings on cigarette packs in non-smokers and weekly smokers but not daily smokers.

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School of Experimental Psychology and UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.



To assess the impact of plain packaging on visual attention towards health warning information on cigarette packs.


Mixed-model experimental design, comprising smoking status as a between-subjects factor, and package type (branded versus plain) as a within-subjects factor.


University laboratory.


Convenience sample of young adults, comprising non-smokers (n = 15), weekly smokers (n = 14) and daily smokers (n = 14).


Number of saccades (eye movements) towards health warnings on cigarette packs, to directly index visual attention.


Analysis of variance indicated more eye movements (i.e. greater visual attention) towards health warnings compared to brand information on plain packs versus branded packs. This effect was observed among non-smokers and weekly smokers, but not daily smokers.


Among non-smokers and non-daily cigarette smokers, plain packaging appears to increase visual attention towards health warning information and away from brand information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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