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Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 Jul;13(7):579-88. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr045. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

Impact of female-oriented cigarette packaging in the United States.

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Department of Health Studies & Gerontology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.



Cigarette packaging is among the most prominent forms of tobacco marketing. This study examined the impact of cigarette pack design among young women in the United States.


A national sample of 18- to 19-year-old females in the United States completed an online survey in February 2010. Participants were randomized to view eight cigarette packs designed according to one of four experimental conditions: fully branded female packs, same packs without descriptors (e.g., "slims"), same packs without brand imagery or descriptors ("plain" packs), and branded non-female brands. Participants rated packs on measures of appeal and health risk and completed a behavioral pack selection task.


Fully branded female packs were rated significantly more appealing than the same packs without descriptors, "plain" packs, and non-female-branded packs. Female-branded packs were associated with a greater number of positive attributes including glamour, slimness, and attractiveness and were more likely to be perceived as less harmful. Approximately 40% of smokers and nonsmokers requested a pack at the end of the study; female-branded packs were 3 times more likely to be selected than plain packs.


Plain packaging and removing descriptors such as "slims" from cigarette packs may reduce smoking susceptibility among young women.

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