Slime smokes are vomitus

October 29, 2015 by Kerry Faulkner, Sciencenetwork Wa
Slime smokes are vomitus
Prof Hoek said among other changes, not all smokers relate to health warning on packs and new messages are needed that targeted young people. Credit: Stefan Zabunov

Just when it seemed cigarette packs couldn't be more revolting, expert health marketers are finding new ways to turn people off smokes, like creating a cigarette which looks like it is covered in slime.

The plain packs sporting gruesome pictures are a starting point, according to New Zealand researcher Professor Janet Hoek who was speaking at the Oceania Tobacco Conference 2015 in Perth last week.

Her research investigates how to better use cigarette's own packaging against smokers and changing the appearance of the 'stick' has some dramatic results in testing.

Test participants are less likely to choose a cigarette when it looks like slime or is illustrated with a timeline of minutes of life lost through smoking, compared to the standard cigarette, Prof Hoek said.

"We did some early qualitative work and we looked at reaction that some of these more dissuasive sticks elicited," she said.

"And if you are in business of de-marketing something, I can tell you it doesn't get any better than getting reactions like slime, scum, vomit and poo.

"The reason of course we got these reactions because we are directly linking these unpleasant connotations, feeling of dirt and filth, to this very act of consumption so we completely reduce the distance smokers are trying to create.

Based on the research they concluded that the product is even more important than the packaging.

"Changing stick appearance sharply decreases the appeal of smoking and undermines efforts to sanitise smoking that smokers are engaging in increasingly—it's another important opportunity to extend plain packaging," she said.

Slime smokes are vomitus
Test participants were less likely to choose a cigarette when it looks like slime or is illustrated with a timeline of minutes of life lost through smoking, compared to the standard cigarette. Credit: Janet Hoek

Among other changes, not all smokers relate to health warning on packs and new messages are needed that targeted young people, Prof Hoek said.

In addition, she said authorities need to ban the controversial descriptors like 'optimum crush sky' which replaced images on the pack when plain packaging became mandatory.

Australia has been fighting international legal challenges by tobacco companies since it introduced in 2012, a move which made it a world leader in the war against tobacco.

The tobacco industry is as determined and as ruthless as ever to increase smoking worldwide and delay, prevent and oppose anything that might work against it, according to Public Health Advocacy Institute director and Curtin University Professor Mike Daube.

"The industry is still flourishing—the world's leading tobacco companies remain strong and powerful and well regarded as investments," he said.

Australia and its partners must be constantly alert to new approaches, Prof Daub said.

Explore further: Global conference pushes plain cigarette packaging

Related Stories

Global conference pushes plain cigarette packaging

July 20, 2015
Ministers from 10 countries gathered in Paris Monday to launch a common drive to introduce plain cigarette packaging with the aim of stubbing out high smoking rates among young people.

Study shows more "quit" stimulus needed on cigarette packs

November 10, 2014
New research from the University of Otago, published recently in the prestigious BMJ-owned journal Tobacco Control, suggests tobacco plain packaging would be enhanced by clearer and more visually striking Quitline information.

The growing evidence on standardised packaging of tobacco products

February 18, 2015
The scientific journal Addiction has today published a collection of peer-reviewed research papers and commentaries that bring together key parts of the evidence base for standardised packaging of tobacco products from 2008 ...

Plain packaging reduces 'cigarette-seeking' response by almost a tenth, says study

February 10, 2015
Plain tobacco packaging may reduce the likelihood of smokers seeking to obtain cigarettes by almost 10% compared to branded packs, according to research from the Universities of Exeter and Bristol.

Plain packaging reduces the appeal of smoking: study

September 3, 2012
While Australia has recently passed legislation to ban logos from cigarette packages and to make plain packaging mandatory, other countries are still considering whether or not to take similar measures. New research published ...

Research undermines tobacco industry's claims that 'plain packaging' is unfair

October 10, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Two research studies led by University of Otago researchers have challenged tobacco companies' claims about plain packaging.

Recommended for you

Could insufficient sleep be adding centimeters to your waistline?

July 27, 2017
Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

Sugar not so sweet for mental health

July 27, 2017
Sugar may be bad not only for your teeth and your waistline, but also your mental health, claimed a study Thursday that was met with scepticism by other experts.

Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves

July 27, 2017
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems, new research at Oregon State University shows.

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.