Plain packaging is meant to reduce the overall attractiveness of tobacco products. Some countries have adopted drab colors for the packs.
These moves have also increased the noticeability of the current tobacco health warnings that are on the packages.
In addition, banning trademarks, logos, and other design features is intended to prevent companies from using the packaging as a subtle form of advertising. Some health officials say that design features may imply that certain tobacco products are “healthier” than others.
It is still too early to know exactly how much of an impact plain packaging will have on smoking rates in countries that adopt these measures.
But an impact study released last month estimated that between 2012 and 2015 plain packaging in Australia resulted in 108,228 fewer smokers in that country.
Researchers say that plain packaging accounted for one quarter of the overall decline in smoking seen in Australia during that period.