The UK government is to consult on the introduction of cigarette pack inserts to help smokers quit.
The inserts would feature details of where to find advice and support on stopping smoking, along with messages on the health and financial benefits of quitting.
The government hopes that the inserts will encourage more smokers to quit, as part of its ambition to be smoke-free by 2030.
What are cigarette pack inserts?
Cigarette pack inserts are small leaflets that are placed inside cigarette packs. They typically contain information about the health risks of smoking, as well as advice and support on quitting.
What are the benefits?
There is some evidence that cigarette pack inserts can help smokers quit. A study in Canada found that smokers who were exposed to the inserts were more likely to try to quit smoking than those who were not exposed.
The inserts can also help smokers to stay motivated to quit. They can provide information about the health benefits of quitting, as well as tips and resources on how to do it.
What are the drawbacks?
Some people argue that cigarette pack inserts are not effective in helping smokers quit. They say that the information in the inserts is often ignored by smokers, or that it is not enough to help them overcome their addiction.
Others argue that steps are a waste of money. They say that the government should focus on other, more effective measures to reduce smoking, such as increasing the price of cigarettes.
What is the government’s consultation on cigarette pack inserts?
The government is currently consulting on the introduction of cigarette pack inserts. The consultation will ask for views on the design and content of the inserts, as well as the effectiveness of such inserts in helping smokers quit.
The consultation closes on September 15, 2023.
What do experts say?
There is mixing opinion among experts about the effectiveness of cigarette pack inserts. Some experts believe that they can be a helpful tool in helping smokers quit, while others believe that they are not effective.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said that steps are a “modest but important addition” to current tobacco control measures. She said that they can help smokers to stay motivated to quit and can provide them with information about the health benefits of quitting.
Prof Linda Bauld, an expert in public health at the University of Edinburgh, said that steps are “a good idea in principle” but that they need to be carefully designed and implemented in order to be effective.
Prof Agnes Nairn, an expert in marketing at the University of Bristol, said that cigarette pack inserts are “unlikely to have much impact” on smokers who are addicted to cigarettes. She said that smokers who are motivated to quit will find the information in the inserts helpful, but that those who are not motivated are unlikely to be persuaded by the inserts.
The government’s consultation on cigarette pack inserts is an important step in determining whether or not these inserts can be an effective tool in helping smokers quit. The results of the consultation will be closely watching by experts and public health advocates.