If you’re a smoker, odds are, you know your brand. Sure, you aren’t picky when someone offers you a smoke, but when you’re buying, chances are you go for the same brand every time. But if you’re planning on quitting smoking in the new year, consider this: According to a new study, a cigarette’s packaging plays a part in how easy or hard it is to stop smoking.
The Canadian study found that addicted smokers had an easier time of quitting when the cigarettes had plain packaging, particularly smokers who were between the ages of 18 and 29. Flashy packaging made 16 percent of the participants view smoking certain brands as a symbol of prestige.
“Colors, shapes and symbols on packaging contribute to beliefs that certain brands are more high-status, while using words like mild, light or slim can give consumers the impression that some tobacco products are less harmful than others,” saysDr. Raglan Maddox, a postdoctoral fellow at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
The study shows that bright colors and an eye-catching logo influence how the brain perceives the risks associated with smoking: plain packaging reduced how dangerous participants found smoking by 12 percent. The Canadian government is currently debating on whether a ban on cigarette packaging should be put in place, a law that was instituted in Australia three years ago.