New evidence finds standardised cigarette packaging may reduce the number of people who smoke as UK legislation bans the use of branding on all cigarette packets from May 2017.

A Cochrane Review published today finds standardised tobacco packaging may lead to a reduction in smoking prevalence and reduces the appeal of tobacco.

According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco use kills more people worldwide than any other preventable cause of death. Global health experts believe the best way to reduce tobacco use is by stopping people starting to use tobacco and encouraging and helping existing users to stop.

plain-packs-620-x-348-heroThe introduction of standardised (or ‘plain’) packaging was recommended by the World Health Organisation, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) guidelines. This recommendation was based on evidence around tobacco promotion in general and studies which examined the impact of changes in packaging on knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviour. Standardised tobacco packaging places restrictions on the appearance of tobacco packs so that there is a uniform colour (and in some cases shape) with no logos or branding apart from health warnings and other government-mandated information, and the brand name appears in a prescribed uniform font, colour and size.

From next month, UK legislation on standardised packaging for all tobacco packs comes into full effect.

Australia was the first country in the world to implement standardised packaging of tobacco products.  The laws, which took full effect there in December 2012, also required enlarged pictorial health warnings.

A team of Cochrane researchers from the UK and Canada have summarised results from studies that examine the impact of standardised packaging on tobacco attitudes and behaviour. They have today published their findings in the Cochrane Library.

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University of Oxford PhD Studentship ~ Developing and testing peer-led interventions to promote switching from smoking to vaping.

Developing and testing peer-led interventions to promote switching from smoking to vaping.

PhD Studentship ~ Closing date: 26th May 2017

Applications are invited from individuals with a strong academic record who wish to develop a career in behavioural or primary care research. The student will join the thriving Health Behaviours team in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences who are working on range of interventions to support harm reduction and smoking cessation.

The project: The rise in popularity of electronic cigarettes (‘e-cigarettes’) in recent years has been accompanied by a growth in the number of virtual ‘vaper’ communities, with people sharing their advice and experiences of e-cigarettes with peers on internet support groups and discussion forums, many of which address ways of reducing or stopping smoking. The rise of peer to peer support is unique to e-cigarettes; no other means of stopping or reducing smoking attracts such passionate engagement from members of the public. This raises the possibility that we could better harness this peer support to enable more people to reduce or stop smoking using e-cigarettes and this project examines this. Continue reading

20th anniversary of Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group! @CochraneTAG

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The Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (TAG) was founded in 1996, making 2016 their 20th anniversary!!

To hear more about the history of the Cochrane Group Click here!

The group will be using this year to look back on the last twenty; by highlighting their achievements, holding various promotional events and planning for the future! 

Birthday cake

“More specifically our plans for 2016 are:

  • To disseminate our work and achievements more through blog posts, other social media, journal editorials and promotion at conferences.

  • We are putting together a programme of conference promotion & dissemination. For more information on what we are getting up to and the outcomes click here.
  • We are happy to announce that we have won funding from the NIHR School for Primary Care Research to carry out a project called CTAG taps. CTAG taps stands for Cochrane TAG twentieth anniversary priority setting project. For more information about this project, which will run throughout 2016 please click here
  • A one day priority setting workshop at the University of Oxford on Friday 17th June 2016. This workshop is part of the CTAG taps project and will bring together tobacco control experts across research, policy making, commissioning, clinical practice and the public. The aim of the workshop is to celebrate and publicise the work of the group so far,  but most importantly to help guide the aims of Cochrane TAG so our reviews meet a wide range of needs, are relevant to current trends in smoking, and therefore create the highest possible impact, whilst guarding against research wastage. For more information on our workshop please click here

Click here for more information and to keep up to date with Cochrane’s 20 year anniversary!