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Increased support for standardised packaging in the UK: a longitudinal online survey
  1. Crawford Moodie1,
  2. Catherine Best1,
  3. Nathan Critchlow1,
  4. Martine Stead1,
  5. Sara C Hitchman2,
  6. Ann McNeill2
  1. 1 Institute for Social Marketing and Health, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
  2. 2 UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Crawford Moodie, Department of Marketing, Institute for Social Marketing, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK; c.s.moodie{at}

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While standardised (or plain) packaging is required in at least 14 countries, the only evidence on postimplementation support comes from Australia. Public support is important for public health policy as it can be instrumental in whether governments introduce measures, and can help justify the decision to have done so.1 2 In Australia, support for plain packaging during the transition period was higher among smokers using plain packs than smokers using fully branded packs.2 A longitudinal survey found that support among smokers increased from 28% preplain packaging to 49% 6 months postplain packaging.3 Cross-sectional surveys found that while approval among smokers and ex-smokers was unchanged from prior to the policy being implemented to 12 months postplain packaging, there was a significant decrease in disapproval (from 36.4% preimplementation to 28.2% for smokers, and from 17.2% preimplementation to 13.9% for ex-smokers).4

Since 20 May 2017, cigarettes and rolling tobacco in the UK must be sold in standardised packs. We explored whether support for standardised packaging changed following the introduction …

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  • Correction notice This paper has been updated since first published to amend funding details and details regarding the timeline of sample follow-up.

  • Contributors CM and SCH designed the study and obtained funding. CB was responsible for data management and analysis. CM drafted the manuscript, and all authors approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The first two waves were funded by Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation (Grant No: A18507). The third wave was conducted by the Public Health Policy Research Unit (PH-PRU), commissioned and funded by the National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research, the Department of Health and Social Care or its arm's length bodies, and other Government Departments.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.