Perceptions of plain tobacco packaging among adolescents and adults: DePICT, a French national survey
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INSERM UMR_S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Department of Social Epidemiology, France
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A534
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Social inequalities in the consumption of tobacco in France are at all-time highs, with adults in lower socio-economic groups having higher rates of smoking than those who are more privileged. France was the second country in the world to introduce plain tobacco packaging, with all tobacco products sold starting January 1st 2017 having plain packaging. We sought to examine if perceptions of the change in tobacco packaging differs according to socio-economic position in adolescents as well as in adults.

DePICT is a two waves cross-sectional national telephone survey of residents of Metropolitan France, whose first wave was completed on November 15th 2016 and included more than 6,000 participants aged 12 to 64 years. Using multivariate logistic regression models, we examined the association between participants' educational attainment and their perceptions of plain tobacco packaging. Analyses were conducted separately among adults (≥18 years, n=4,342) and adolescents (n=2,042), and were adjusted for multiple potential confounders such as socio-demographic characteristics, variables related to health warnings' salience and perceptions of tobacco smoking. All analyses were weighted to be representative of the French population.

77% of adults and 28% of adolescents had heard of plain packaging; respectively 38% of adults and 42% of adolescents had a favourable opinion of this policy. Higher education level was associated with a positive perception of plain packaging among adults, and schooling in a technical/vocation setting was associated with negative perceptions among adolescents. Smokers - adult and adolescent - were also more likely to have a negative perception of plain packaging.

A negative perception of plain packaging is associated with a lower educational level among adolescents and adults. Thus, the impact of this policy change on patterns of smoking could differ depending on individuals' socio-economic position.