Branded cigarette packets are a powerful tobacco industry marketing tool designed to attract young people - our tamariki. Research shows that plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products to children which in turn will help to them to stay smokefree.

New Zealand aims to follow a similar process to that of Australia who introduced plain packaging laws in December 2012. Plain packaging means tobacco products will be sold in dark olive coloured packages with generic fonts.

Evidence shows that plain packaging:

  • Takes away the power of imagery on packets to communicate lifestyle and personality associated with brands which reduces the overall appeal of tobacco products to current and potential consumers (our tamariki).
  • Stops tobacco companies from misleading people with lighter colours to suggest products are less harmful.
  • Will have larger health warning labels which will increase the impact of these warnings to consumers.

Plain packaging is the only way to convey the message that tobacco products kill half of its users. Evidence demonstrates plain packaging regime can meet the policy objective of achieving the goal of Smokefree2025, alongside other tobacco control measures. 


UK cigarette health warnings 'not up to the job'

More Australian teens put off smoking by cigarette packs than their UK counterparts.

Introduction effects of the Australian plain packaging policy on adult smokers: a cross sectional study

A cross-sectional survey of 536 cigarette smokers compared the perceptions of participants who smoked from branded packs with those who smoked from plain packs. Compared with branded pack smokers, those smoking from plain packs perceived their cigarettes to be lower in quality; tended to perceive their cigarettes as less satisfying than a year ago; more likely to have thought about quitting at least once a day in the past week and rate quitting as a higher priority in their lives. They were also more likely to support a plain pack policy than branded pack smokers.

Reference: Wakefield MA et. al. Introduction effects of the Australian plain packaging policy on adult smokers: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2013 3(7).


Factsheet 1: The case for plain packaging

A summary on the evidence for plain packaging from New Zealand and international studies

Factsheet 2: Tobacco industry mythbusting

Busting open the tobacco industry arguments against plain packs.

Factsheet 3: A list of research studies on plain packaging

Factsheet 4: What's happening around the world (in detail)

Factsheet 5: Rebuttal to the adverse effect of plain packaged tobacco on small retailers

Factsheet 6: Summary of the latest finding on plain tobacco packaging (November 2013)

Factsheet 7: Public opinion poll on the level of support for plain packaging 

Seventy-five per cent of people agree that they would support plain tobacco packaging if there is evidence that plain packs are less attractive to children and young people than branded packs.



New Zealand


The ASPIRE 2025 research team has given a detail summary on local research studies in regards to plain packaging

Health Promotion Agency

Public opinion about tobacco plain packaging



United Kingdom 

Report of the independent review undertaken by Sir Cyril Chantler2014

The independent report examined the effect of the policy regime on the overall tobacco consumption, based on the evidence received from both sides. In the report, Sir Chantler made a conclusion as follow:

"Having reviewed the evidence it is in my highly likely that standardised packaging would serve to reduce the rate  of children taking up smoking and implausible that it would increase the consumption of tobacco."

The report influenced the decision of the UK Parliament to proceed to regulation-making stage. 

University of Stirling 2012

Plain tobacco packaging: A Systematic Review


Plain packaging of tobacco products: a review of the evidence

The Plain Truth

The Plain Truth (Video)