Perceptions of cigarette and snus packages among youths and young adults in Norway
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Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Drug Policy, Norway
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A538
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The aim of plain packaging is to take away the tobacco package's visual identity and appeal as an advertisement for the product and to reinforce the influence of health warnings. We studied perceptions of cigarette and snus packaging among youths and young adults in Norway before the implementation of plain tobacco packaging legislation (including both cigarettes and snus) on July 1st 2017.

We collected data in a web survey among 1200 youths aged 16-21 (55% female). The participants answered questions about how often they had seen tobacco products and health warnings on packages, perceptions of package appeal, potential of harm and differentiation between products.

Preliminary analyses showed that nine out of ten respondents reported having seen cigarette and snus packages often during the last six months. 50% reported having noticed health warnings on cigarette packages during the same period, while 23% had seen warnings on snus packages. A minority of the respondents evaluated cigarette packages as cool (4%) or exciting to look at (6%), while a larger share agreed that packages were ugly (48%) or disgusting (40%). Correspondingly, 15% agreed to a statement that snus packages were cool and 20% to that they were exciting to look at, while 34/38% agreed that snus packages were ugly or disgusting. The participants evaluated cigarette and snus packages similarly as regards differentiation between packages based upon appearance or harmfulness.

The participants evaluated snus packages somewhat more positively compared to cigarette packages, while their perceptions of difference between products were rather similar for snus and cigarettes. New data will be collected to study to what extent the implementation of the plain packaging legislation will influence perceptions of cigarette and snus packages among youths in Norway.