In a 2008 paper on neuroeconomics, Carnegie Mellon University economist George Loewenstein said: “Whereas psychologists tend to view humans as fallible and sometime even self-destructive, economists tend to view people as efficient maximisers of self-interest who make mistakes only when imperfectly informed about the consequences of their actions.”
Cigarette packages have become the last bastion of advertising for cigarette manufacturers.
The new plain package cigarettes will be presented in olive green packaging, with the only visible logo a graphic health warning. The brand of the cigarette appears in plain type and small font.
Cigarette companies promote and sell through colours, logos and images. To this end, cigarette packets are designed to reassure smokers about risk and to reinforce smokers’ self-image.
Research has shown that changing the message, picture and colour of packaging has a significant influence over choice by younger consumers.
Importantly, the research showed that changing the size of the graphic warning picture, the size and number of brand elements, and the colour of the packaging has been linked to promoting cessation of smoking amongst young adult smokers.