You see, as Snowdon reports today, at first glance the 'evidence' looks pretty meaningless.
The study Chapman referred to was published yesterday. It was a phone survey conducted by one of his mates and it didn't remotely address any of these issues. Its main finding—reflected in headlines such as Plain cigarette packs 'encourage smokers to quit'—was that people who smoked out of plain packs were more inclined to think about giving up smoking. According to the survey, 57.1% of those smoking from branded packs were "seriously considering quitting in the next 6 months", whereas this rose to 68.8% for those smoking from plain packs.
These numbers are pretty feeble.Indeed they are.
However, when compared to these ...
"Nearly 70% of smokers say they want to quit" - US Center for Disease Control
"70% of smokers want to quit" - ASH Wales
"69% of Scottish smokers report they would like to stop smoking" - ASH Scotland
"Research shows over 80% of smokers want to quit" - ASH Australia websiteSo, this veritable powder keg of a study on plain packaging seems to confirm that, err, everything is the same as it was before. Or, that constant tobacco control industry nagging may even be deterring smokers from wanting to quit.
Of course, that's if we assume the previous 69, 70 and 80 percent claims were kosher. But why would they lie, eh?