It won't break smoking habits (as seen in the FDA graphic warning label judgment in August), but it is less attractive to the youth and to children, and it is believed they will focus more on tobacco rather than on the fancy package (See here a study sum up for the French Parliament).
It's worth noticing that while some countries want to make this a European Union regulation proposal, in some countries in the EU tobacco advertising is still legal (eg Germany, Greece).
In my country, research (Effectiveness perception of plain packaging of tobacco products: findings from France) has only proven that neutral packages were perceived as "unattractive", "ugly", and "made the dissuasive pictures and messages more visible".
The main study was conducted by some anti-tobacco group leaders but also tobacco research doctors.
This study, which also relies on government-conducted qualitative and quantitative studies made in 2007 and 2008, lists several references :
- Beede, Lawson, Shepherd (1991), The promotional impact of cigarette packaging: a study of adolescent responses to cigarette plainpacks,
paper presented to the Australian and New Zealand Association and management Educator’s conference, Launceston,,Australia.
- Beede and Lawson (1992), The effect of plain packaging on the perception of health warnings, Public health, 106 (4), 315-322.
- Beede and Lawson (1991), Brand image attraction: the promotional impact of cigarette packaging, The New Zealand family physician, 18, 175-177
- Canadian Cancer Society (1994), Putting health first : the case for plain packaging of tobacco products, april, submitted to the House
of Commons Standing on Health.
- Canadian Cancer Society (1994), Responses to arguments against plain packaging on tobacco products, may 24, 1994, submitted to
members of the standing committee on health.
- Canadian Cancer Society (1994), Marketing Professors endorse plain packaging of tobacco products, May 23, together with statements of 24 marketing professors.
- Carr-Cregg and Gray (1990), Generic pack : a possible solution to the marketing of tobacco to young people, Medical J of Australia,
- Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer (1992), Health warnings and contents labelling on tobacco products, Report prepared for
the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy Tobacco Task Force, Melbourne: Anti-cancer council of Victoria.
- Centre for health promotion (1994), Effects of plain cigarette packaging among youth, University of Toronto, ONT
- Donovan (1993), Smokers’ and non-smokers’ reactions to standard packaging of cigarettes, University of Western Australia.
- Freeman, Chapman and Rimmer (2008), The case for the plain packaging of tobacco products, Addiction, 103, 580-590.
- Goldberg, Liefeld, Madill, and Vredenburg (1999), The Effect of Plain Packaging on Response to Health Warnings, American Journal
of Public Health, 89 (9), 1434-1435.
- Hammond (2007), The case for plain packaging: brand descriptors & design, National conference on tobacco or health, Edmonton, Canada, October 2nd.
- Health Canada (1994), Background information on Tobacco and plain packaging, Ottawa, ONT, April.
- Jamieson (1993), Plain cigarette packaging – A turn-off for teens ! Canadian Cancer Society, Toronto, ONT.
- Luik J. (1998), Plain packaging and the marketing of cigarettes, Luik J. editor., Oxfordshire: Admap Publications.
- Madill-Marshall, Goldberg, Gorn, Liefeld, Vredenburg (1996), Two experiments assessing the visual and semantic images associated
with current and plain cigarette packaging, Advances in Consumer Research, 23, 267-268.
- Mahood (1992), Generic or plain tobacco packages: moving toward real bans on tobacco advertising, 8th world conference on
tobacco or health, Buenos Aires, April 1992.