Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Adolescents' perceptions of standardised cigarette packaging design and brand variant name post-implementation: A focus group study in Scotland
Other Titles: Adolescents' reactions to standardized packaging
Author(s): Mitchell, Danielle
Moodie, Crawford
Critchlow, Nathan
Bauld, Linda
Contact Email:
Keywords: standardised packaging
adolescent smoking
focus groups
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2019
Citation: Mitchell D, Moodie C, Critchlow N & Bauld L (2019) Adolescents' perceptions of standardised cigarette packaging design and brand variant name post-implementation: A focus group study in Scotland [Adolescents' reactions to standardized packaging]. BMC Public Health, 19, Art. No.: 1227.
Abstract: Background: The United Kingdom (UK) fully-implemented standardised packaging for cigarettes and rolling tobacco on 20th May 2017. We explore adolescent’s awareness of, and responses to, standardised cigarette packaging in the UK after it became mandatory. Methods: Eight focus groups were conducted in schools in Scotland with 16–17 year-olds (n = 41), between November 2017 and November 2018, to explore awareness of, and responses to, standardised cigarette packaging. Unlike in Australia, where only straight-edged flip-top cigarette packs are permitted, in the UK standardised cigarette packs can have slim designs, and different edge types (straight, rounded or bevelled) and opening styles (flip-top or shoulder box). We explored how each of these pack formats was perceived. We also explored to what extent brand variant name differentiated cigarettes sold in standardised packaging. Results: Most participants were aware of standardised packaging without being shown pack stimuli. Standardised packs were considered embarrassing and off-putting, and the health warnings salient. Among the standardised packs shown, there was a preference for the slimmer pack, viewed as more discrete and the cigarettes potentially less harmful, and the shoulder box, considered cool and different. Participants were interested in some brand variant names on standardised packs (e.g. Legendary Black), particularly those they considered to imply coolness and sophistication. Conclusion: Adolescents consider standardised cigarette packs in the UK unappealing, and the warnings salient, two core aims of this measure. However, positive reactions to some of the standardised packs (slimmer pack, shoulder box), and variant names used, has implications for countries developing standardised packaging regulations.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12889-019-7552-0
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Mitchell et al. (2019).pdfFulltext - Published Version850.63 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.