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Standardised cigarettes: the next step for tobacco policy?
  1. Yvette van der Eijk
  1. Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yvette van der Eijk, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore; yvette.eijk{at}


As tobacco marketing restrictions intensify, tobacco companies increasingly turn to the cigarette product itself as a marketing medium with new flavours, capsules, novelty filter features and attractive cigarette stick designs. This paper considers a ‘standardised cigarettes’ policy as a potential next step in restricting tobacco marketing. This policy would remove from cigarette products all the elements that increase their appeal and addictiveness: added flavours, nicotine, and visual designs and branding. The result would be a cigarette that is flavourless, not especially addicting, and visually off-putting. This paper discusses what a standardised cigarettes policy might look like from a regulatory standpoint, and how it fits into current policy obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

  • Advertising and promotion
  • End game
  • Packaging and labelling
  • Public policy
  • Tobacco industry

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  • Contributors YvdE is the sole contributor to this work.

  • Funding This work was funded by an NUS research account (A-0006099-00-00) and a Ministry of Education Tier 1 Academic Research Fund (A-0002078-00-00).

  • Competing interests None declared.

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