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Open Access Cigarette Pack Structure Elements in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Objectives: The tobacco industry can attract consumers using appealing packaging, including pack structure. We assessed the variety of pack structure elements across select low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Methods: Between 2013 and 2017, we systematically collected 3542 packs from 14 LMICs. The selected countries represented LMICs with the greatest number of smokers. We assessed packs for 4 packaging structure elements: pack-type (hard, soft, or box), pack-shape, pack-edge, and opening-style. We used descriptive statistics to analyze the packag- ing structure elements by country and tobacco company. Results: All 14 countries assessed had predominantly hard packs (88.3% of the total sample). We identified 5 pack-shape variants; the most common pack-shape in all countries was the rectangular non-slim pack-shape (79.2%). Straight right-angled edge packs were the most common in 11 of the 14 countries assessed, but rounded edge packs were the most common in Turkey (58.5%). We found 9 broad categories of pack-opening styles, with the most common being the flip-top (94.5%). Conclusion: Although we found common packaging structure elements across the 14 LMICs, we also noted diverse packaging structures. Restrictions on pack structure elements are important as these elements can contribute to the attractiveness of tobacco products.

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Keywords: LOW- AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES; STANDARDIZED PACKAGING; TOBACCO PACKAGING; TOBACCO PRODUCT ATTRACTIVENESS; TOBACCO REGULATION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Senior Research Program Coordinator, Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, United States 2: Assistant Scientist, Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, United States 3: Professor, Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, United States

Publication date: January 2021

More about this publication?
  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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