The Chronicle Herald: Dalhousie, Nova Scotia Lung Association study backs benefits of plain cigarette packaging

HALIFAX, N.S. — Boring is best when it comes to cigarette packaging, a Halifax researcher has concluded.

Mohammed Al-Hamdani worked with 50 smokers using eye-tracking technology and tests that measured the motivation to smoke. He found that plain cigarette packaging not only increases attention to health warnings for all smokers, it also deters some smokers’ desire to smoke. 

“It’s this very boring standardized area in a very boring font that dissolves any kind of intertwining blue or red colours,” said Al-Hamdani, who holds a doctorate in psychology specializing in addictions, in a recent interview at Dalhousie University, where he conducted his latest research. 

“Now it forces you to look at the only other thing that is not boring, which is the image.” 

A plain cigarette package is mostly taken up with a health warning and a graphic image, such as a person dying of cancer or a cancerous growth on a patient’s tongue.

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