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Unbranding Butts: The Latest Salvo In The U.K. Campaign For Plain Cigarette Packs

Cancer Research UK continues to lobby for "plain packs."

It's been made clear over the last few decades that marketing tobacco products to kids is a serious no-no. But a new ad by Cancer Research U.K. says that while tobacco marketing to British kids might not be as obvious as in places like Indonesia and China, package design remains the last gasp of persuasion open to cigarette makers.

Many countries, including the U.S., U.K. and Canada, have experimented with graphic warning labels, with mixed results and responses. But Cancer Research U.K. is aiming beyond mere warning labels and instead lobbying to remove the enticement of a powerful brand from the package itself. It's a drastic scheme that has been tried in Australia—and some research has indicated that since that country unbranded its cigarette packs last year, smokers found smoking less satisfying and were more likely to want to quite.

The measure has met some push back in the U.K. from the tobacco industry but with ads like this they're sure to find more than a few sympathetic ears.