Background We explored, for the first time, young adult roll-your-own smokers’ response to using plain packaging in real-world settings.
Methods Naturalistic research was employed, where 133 French young adult smokers (18–25 years of age) used plain roll-your-own packs for 10 days; the plain packs they were provided with contained their usual brand of rolling tobacco and displayed the name of their usual brand. Participants were recruited in five cities in France (Paris, Marseille, Metz, Nantes, Toulouse) and completed two questionnaires to measure their response to their own branded packs and the plain packs. Both questionnaires assessed pack perceptions, brand attachment, product perceptions (eg, taste, quality, natural), feelings about smoking (satisfying, pleasurable), feelings when using the pack in front of others (embarrassment, image), warning response (credibility, awareness of risks) and smoking-related behaviour (eg, consumption, quitting).
Results Compared to their own fully branded packs, plain packs were associated with less positive pack and product perceptions, lower brand attachment and less positive feelings about smoking and feelings when using the pack in front of others. Participants were also more likely to report feeling like reducing consumption and quitting when using the plain packs, and more likely to feel like missing out on rolling a cigarette. No significant differences between the two pack types (plain and branded) were found in terms of credibility of warnings and perceptions of level of tar.
Conclusions The study suggests that the impacts of plain packaging for roll-your-own cigarette smokers are the same as for smokers of factory-made cigarettes.
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