New and improved cigarette packaging

Okay, so what do you think? Will this new packaging discourage people from smoking? We all know I’m a former smoker. I smoked for 35 years and I’ll be honest. Had my lungs not revolted against me, I’d still be smoking. I can’t even pretend I wanted to quit. I even still crave them. I even still reach to grab one from the ashtray next to my computer even though there hasn’t been one there for almost 2 years. The craving is so strong at times.

Canada has been doing this for at least 10 years. Here are some of them. This is my favorite and never fails to make me laugh.

This one always did make me feel bad.

But really, these pictures would not stop me from smoking. Apparently it didn’t do the job for Canadians either but they just sold these at checkout counters where all good cigarettes are sold. First of all, I think when you’re young, nothing really scares you. I told myself at 15 years old that I could quit whenever I wanted to. I wasn’t addicted. By the time I knew I was, I still couldn’t/didn’t want to quit so what was on a pack of cigarettes wouldn’t have stopped me from smoking. I knew way more than anyone else.

Then they did the whole “raise the price of cigarettes” to get people to quit. In MN a pack of cigarettes range from $4.50 to as high as $7 in a bar a pack. OMG. Cigarettes were .35 a pack when I started to smoke. In Canada the average pack of cigarettes cost’s between $10 and $13 a pack depending on the brand. So I think it would be safe to say that cost alone won’t make you quit either.

Quitting smoking is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to give up and when I smell a “fresh” cigarette, as in someone having one near me, I just want to stand and smell the whole thing in. I close my eyes and imagine myself smoking it. Stale smoke as in on someone’s clothes, breath or hair is just gross. I can’t believe I used to smell like that! ISH!!

So, do you think this new packaging is a good idea? Do you think it will make anyone quit smoking or more importantly, do you think it will prevent young people from starting? Is there one thing you just can’t shake or give up? What if you had to or you would die?

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9 Responses to New and improved cigarette packaging

  1. Laura says:

    (my other computer is fixed. I should start being more reliable again)

    I think smoking is like anything else. When you start, you do it to be cool and to fit in. You never expect to get hooked. And then when you are, even if you want to quit, you often cannot.

    In many cases – like yours, Joy – a person is not going to quit until they look their own mortality in the face. I’ve spoken with many drinkers who have told me that they still want a drink. They don’t because they know if they do, this time it WILL kill them.

    So these packs are just like any other outside force telling people to quit something they like. Do you see people standing in line to buy celery because Michelle Obama is on a healthy-eating kick? Nope, they’re heading straight for McDonald’s, to purchase their Screw You Big Mac. And it’ll be the same with these packs. I predict that you’ll see a minor dip in sales, and it’ll come right back up, once people are used to them. Especially if they can get those pack covers.

  2. Jenny says:

    I don’t think the pictures will make smokers quit. It may scare some teenagers from starting or even trying a cigarette though. Who knows..people are gonna do whatever they want and pictures aren’t going to stop them.

  3. SKL says:

    I think we might have discussed this here before. My view is that not only will this not stop anyone (who hasn’t already heard about the risks), but it will actually encourage young people. They will get that much more of a thrill out of proving themselves big & bad enough to smoke (which is already against the law), and they will get together and make fun of the warning labels. I predict that they will even start collecting them like baseball cards. So honestly I think this could increase smoking. I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong, though.

    What they really should do is design cigarette packages to look like something stuffy parents would force their kids to consume, with names like “abstinence” and “obedience,” ha ha. That might actually work.

    • Joy says:

      I think we talked about the Canadian packs but this is brand new for MN. It’s going to be the Good Question tonight so I’ll put the link in tomorrow when they give it.

      You’re right. Maybe packaging them in another way would be better. Make them embarrassed instead.

  4. Ellen says:

    We have these kind of packages for cigarettes also for more than 10 years in Europe and it failed big time. Why? Because the packages makes smokers nervous and what does a smoker do when he is nervous? Lit a cigarette! In Europe they think it is just a big scam/conspiracy (not sure I use the right words) , because there are so much taxes on Cigarettes, it might even encourage people to smoke even more and therefor the governments get more tax money!

    Joy, I smoked too, and you are on the good side of your yearning for cigarettes.For me it took 3 years to feel finally free. And still, some moments can make me feel like I am missing something. Like this afternoon, I was drinking a cup of tea with some cookies in the backyard. The smell of the tea with the soaking cookie and the mowed grass made me feel I wanted to do something and suddenly it hit me. I wanted to lit a cigarette. I did not really wanted it, but I associated it with the smell of the tea etc. Luckily, this goes away within seconds. My oldest brother just stopped for 8 months now and he is having a terrible time. I am sooooooooo glad I left that behind me. You can be immensely proud of yourself!!

    • Joy says:

      Thanks Ellen. Some people just don’t know how hard it is to stop something that you do 3 or 4 times an hour. The reaching for them and craving them constantly was so hard and yet people just think “don’t light one.” It’s about so much more than that. Good for you too. I never knew you smoked.

  5. Joy says:

    Here’s the Good Question from last night.

  6. Nikki says:

    No, nothing will make a person quit unless they want or are forced to. Like you, Joy. People don’t care what they come in, how they are packaged as long as they have their smokes! I know it’s hard to quit. I live with someone who love to be able to just put them down and never think about it again. In fact, I just bought him patches today. Wish him luck please, he’ll need it!

    I quit smoking over 6 years ago, and I can’t believe I ever did in the first place. It took my son telling me I smelled gross!

    The hardest thing I have had to cut out, almost completely, is candy. I have such a horrible sweet tooth. It’s hard when my husband thinks he’s being nice by bringing my favorite candy bar home. I had to tell him to stop! I have no self control.

  7. Phyllis says:

    I am a smoker. I have tried to quit several times and have accomplished up to 6 – 12 mo. smoke free. Unfortunately, I do go back. Currently I smoke less than half a pack a day. Would these packages convince me to stop altogether? No. If I were able to stop completely, I would have done so already. Will I continue to do my best to be smoke free. Yes, but not because of the packaging.

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