Standardised packaging of tobacco products is intended to reduce the appeal of smoking, but the tobacco industry claims this increases illicit trade. We examined the percentage of people reporting being offered illicit cigarettes before and after full implementation of standardised packaging in the UK, Ireland and France and compared this to other European Union countries. Reported ever illicit cigarette exposure fell from 19.8% to 18.1% between 2015 and 2018 in the three countries fully implementing the policy, and from 19.6% to 17.0% in control countries (p for difference=0.320). Standardised packaging does not appear to increase the availability of illicit cigarettes.
- tobacco control
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Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. An author's middle initial has been added.
Contributors FF had full access to all of the data and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Study concept and design was by AAL and FF. All authors were involved in the interpretation of data, drafting of the manuscript and revising it for critical intellectual content.
Funding This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (Grant Reference Number PD-SPH-2015). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The funder had no input in the writing of the manuscript or decision to submit for publication.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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