Debranding cigarettes

Celebrities smoking ad looking rather uncool doing it - In fact they all look rather haggard and pinched
Celebrities smoking and looking rather uncool doing it - In fact they all look rather haggard and pinched

As a former smoker who started when I was very young, I can’t help but think that the government have got it 100% totally wrong by aiming to remove all the branding from cigarette packaging and driving them under the counter.
Don’t they realise that all they will do is make them cool again?

Most normal people have got bored of smoking. It’s just not that much fun for the obvious downsides, but now it’s getting naughty again i’m quite tempted to start again.

Martin Lindstrom’s brilliant book Buyology proved scientifically that smokers were actually turned on by the ‘smoking kills’ symbols’ on the pack. it triggered a reaction of almost religious fervour.  Driving them under the counter should have them foaming at the mouth and salivating at newsagent’s windows. Pavlov’s smoking dog.

Call me a cynic if you wish, but again, this allows the government to stand on the high ground and claim ignorance.
Banning smoking in public places did nothing to the rates of smoking, it just closed lots of pubs and working men’s clubs. It removed liberty and choice whilst at the same time keeping up the tax revenue from smoking. Smokers more than pay for the entire NHS and have the advantage of dying younger, so it is not in the government’s interest to actually stop people smoking, but it helps their perception if they appear as though that’s what they want.

This move will do the same as the smoking ban and should even encourage a few more kids to give it a try.

According to the BBC this morning, 200 people a day die from smoking related illnesses every day, so they need to recruit 200 new smokers to replace them. I think this should keep them nicely on track.

If you want to stop kids smoking, you would be far better to show very uncool people smoking and looking haggard or maybe even tell them it’s good for them, like vegetables.

Thanks to wow.ie for the image

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5 thoughts on “Debranding cigarettes

  1. As a designer, I’d be quite tempted to get my hands on some unbranded packs and create some of my own cool-ass artwork.

  2. For me, the only thing that would have made an ounce of difference would have been some kind of link to losing your looks. Heart disease, cancer etc, so far removed from your world as a kid. OR some kind of lie about fags making you fat……..

    1. You can see that I was a heavy smoker as I so clearly lost my looks (that I never really had) and yet still managed to get fat in the process too!

      I do agree that it is a problem with everyone thinking smoking makes you thin!

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