Skip to content
Surprising Science

The New Anti-Smoking Weapon: Talking Cigarette Packs

First there was strongly-worded text, and then there were gruesome pictures. Now, Stirling University researchers have developed a cigarette pack that plays an audio clip when opened.

What’s the Latest Development?

If printed warnings and gory pictures of diseased organs aren’t enough to get smokers to quit, maybe an actual voice message will do the trick: Researchers at Scotland’s Stirling University have developed a cigarette pack that, when opened, plays an audio clip describing the link between smoking and fertility — presumably targeting the original test group, which consisted of women ages 16-24 — and offering the phone number of a service that will offer help on how to quit. They reportedly worked well on the test group, and additional tests will begin soon involving both men and women over the age of 16.

What’s the Big Idea?

Team member Crawford Moodie says, “Tobacco companies may use talking [cigarette packs] in the future as part of marketing. This research shows how the idea can be used to promote ‘positive health’ to smokers.” The study was funded by Cancer Research UK “to see if the marketing tools of the tobacco industry can be used to help smokers quit instead,” said official Alison Cox. If released, the packs could help Scotland’s public health ministry hit its stated goal of reducing the number of its smokers from 23 percent to five percent by 2034.

Photo Credit:

Read it at BBC News


Up Next