When it comes to choosing which cigarette to smoke it seems the prettier the package, the less lethal the product appears to those buying it.

A study published in the Journal of Public Health found cigarette packages in lighter colours, bearing words like “smooth” and “filter,” have consumers convinced the product has fewer health risks.

Roberta Ferrence, executive director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, said the study highlighted how existing regulations on packaging were not having the impact they were supposed to as people still consider some cigarettes less risky than others.

“It’s misleading advertising, there are no healthier cigarettes,” she said, adding that certain phrasing and colouring on a package could encourage people to take up smoking.

New ideas in tobacco control may be brought up as Canada’s Federal Tobacco Strategy is renewed by 2011.

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