Stubbing Out the Evidence of Tobacco Plain Packaging Efficacy: An Analysis of the Australian National Tobacco Plain Packaging Survey
32 Pages Posted: 20 May 2016
Date Written: May 17, 2016
It appears to be common knowledge that the Australian tobacco plain packaging policy has been successful in meeting its stated policy goals. In this paper we investigate the evidence of tobacco plain packaging policy success as published in a 2015 special issue of Tobacco Control that relied on data drawn from the Australian National Plain Packaging Survey. We find that the three key papers demonstrating the efficacy of the plain packaging policy introduced into Australia in 2012 suffer from inconsistencies and methodological differences. The result are not consistent across the three papers and are not robust to small changes in method choice. In particular we find that model fit is invariably poor. We conclude that contrary to the stated claims of the authors of those papers, and the public health lobby in general, that the evidence is not consistent with the stated aims of the plain packaging policy.
Keywords: Tobacco control, Plain Packaging
JEL Classification: I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation