The Impact of Cigarette Plain Packaging on Health Warning Salience and Perceptions: Implications for Public Health Policy

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2015 Nov;27(8):848-59. doi: 10.1177/1010539515602088. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


The study employed a mixed methods design using focus group interviews with 6 student groups and self-administered questionnaires with 1239 students. The participants were nonsmoking, current smokers, and quit-smoking teenagers from secondary schools and colleges. Focus group revealed that although nonsmoking teenagers perceived fear appeals to warning messages, current smokers did not perceive fear appeals to health. Black and white backgrounds of the cigarette package were chosen as the best color for plain packaging. However, most participants suggested various pictorials and a bigger size of pictorial warnings for greater and more effective fear appeal. Odds ratio showed that males had 2.43 times the odds to perceive intention not to smoke. Teenagers who had never smoked and those who had quit smoking had 13.27 and 3.61 times the odds, respectively, to perceive intention not to smoke.

Keywords: Thailand; health warning; plain packaging; teen smoker; tobacco.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Product Packaging / methods*
  • Public Policy
  • Schools
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thailand
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult