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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Introduction of standardized tobacco packaging during a 12-month transition period: Findings from small retailers in the United Kingdom
Author(s): Critchlow, Nathan
Stead, Martine
Moodie, Crawford
Eadie, Douglas
MacKintosh, Anne Marie
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Keywords: tobacco packaging
small retailers
standardised packaging
plain packaging
Issue Date: Jul-2019
Citation: Critchlow N, Stead M, Moodie C, Eadie D & MacKintosh AM (2019) Introduction of standardized tobacco packaging during a 12-month transition period: Findings from small retailers in the United Kingdom. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 21 (7), pp. 871-878.
Abstract: Introduction: Factory-made cigarettes (FMC) and roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco have had to be produced in standardised packaging since 20th May 2016 in the United Kingdom, with a minimum pack size of 20 sticks for FMC and 30 grams for RYO. Manufacturers and retailers were given a 12-month transition period.  Methods: An observational study was conducted using monthly Electronic Point of Sale data from 500 small retailers in England, Scotland, and Wales, between May 2016 and May 2017. The 20 top selling tobacco products (15 FMC, 5 RYO) were monitored to observe when standardised packs were first introduced, the proportion of retailers selling each fully branded and standardised product, and the average number of monitored fully branded and standardised products sold by each retailer. The number of unique tobacco-related product codes sold by each retailer was also recorded each month.  Results: Eighteen of the fully branded products continued to be sold throughout the transition period and no standardised variants were sold in the first five months. It was not until month eleven that the average number of standardised products sold by retailers exceeded the fully branded products. The average number of unique tobacco-related product codes sold by each retailer decreased by a third over the transition period.  Conclusions: Tobacco companies used the transition period to delay the removal of fully branded products and gradually introduce standardised variants. This staggered introduction may have mitigated some of the immediate intended effects of the legislation by desensitising consumers to new pack designs.
DOI Link: 10.1093/ntr/nty006
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Nicotine and Tobacco Research following peer review. The version of record Nathan Critchlow, Martine Stead, Crawford Moodie, Douglas Eadie, Anne Marie MacKintosh, Introduction of Standardized Tobacco Packaging During a 12-Month Transition Period: Findings From Small Retailers in the United Kingdom, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Volume 21, Issue 7, July 2019, Pages 871–878 is available online at:

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