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Hot Topic | Plain Packaging

ASPIRE2025 fully supports the introduction of tobacco plain packaging under the Smokefree Environments Amendment Bill. Our research has contributed to the strong evidence base supporting plain packaging, a measure that the public also endorse.

Our studies show that plain packaging greatly reduces the perceived and actual experience of smoking, particularly among young people, the tobacco industry’s most important market.

On March 14, 2018 standardised packaging came into force in Aotearoa. See a blog written by the ASPIRE team  Standardised packaging: A new era in reducing tobacco marketing in NZ

A summary of our research as relates to plain packaging is detailed below.

Key findings from ASPIRE2025 research

  1. Plain packaging undermines aspirational attributes young people try to gain from smoking and destroys the mystique of smoking
  2. Plain packaging de-normalises smoking and experimental work shows young adults find plain packs very unappealing
  3. Support for plain packaging is high among both adults and youth

How can our research help you?

In this ‘hot topic’ we have extracted key information from our ASPIRE2025 research to make the findings more usable for you. Please see below for published research, presentations and seminars and submissions.

Published research

Click on the links below to read short summaries of our studies.

How does plain packaging work?
What effect is plain packaging likely to have?
What support is there for plain packaging?
What other measures should we consider?

Or for a full list of ASPIRE2025 published research on plain packaging, please view  ASPIRE2025 Plain Packaging published research Feb 2016

Presentations made

Click on the titles below to view presentations made by ASPIRE2025 which have relevance to plain packaging:

Plain Packaging: Exposing tobacco for what it is (or What, Why and When!)  – Janet Hoek
Determinants of Adolescents Perceptions of Plain Packaging – Janet Hoek
How are Tobacco Companies Preparing for Plain Packaging? A Survey of Discarded Tobacco Packaging in New Zealand – Richard Edwards
Could Evocative Brand Variant Names Undermine Plain Packaging? – Janet Hoek
Why Can’t I Agree to Disagree? Tobacco Industry Efforts to Manipulate Public Opinion About Plain Packaging – please contact Andrew Waa
Adding leadership to plain packaging Richard Edwards
Why plain packaging is a proportionate measure – Philip Gendall
Plain Sticks: The next step in dissuasive packaging? – Janet Hoek

Seminars held

ASPIRE2025 hosted Melanie Wakefield in 2012 for a seminar on Plain Packaging in Australia. A video recording of her presentation is available here for members of the tobacco control sector. This video is password protected. Please contact for the password if required.


The following submissions have been made:

Smoke-free (Standardisation of Tobacco Packaging and Tobacco Products) Regulations – June 2016
ASPIRE2025_HSC submission on plain packaging March 2014

Further Questions…who can you contact for help?

If you would like to contact the ASPIRE2025 team about our Plain Packaging research please email us through this link or contact the research authors directly.

Helpful links:

Plain Packs Submission and Media Toolkit – prepared by National Plain Packs Campaign Committee  – the national resource page on plain packaging.– an interesting analysis of The Australian’s newspapers recent approach to reporting on plain packaging (added 24 June 2014)

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