Plain Packaging and Health Warnings

Session Leader: Prof. Ron Borland
Cancer Council Victoria

Presentation Background: The core to good evaluation is to have a clear conceptualization of possible effects of the policy.  These can be divided into three groups: those which have been used to justify the policy; other potential positive (desirable) effects; and possible undesirable effects.  Where different theories predict different outcomes, the evaluation becomes an opportunity to test the competing theories.  Theorized effects need to be considered in a broader systemic context, including the real possibility that the tobacco industry will act in ways designed to minimize any adverse effects on them, and the possibility of interactive effects with other policies and/or programs.  Good evaluation has multiple observations, both baselines and follow-up points and similar observations on non-exposed groups or those exposed at different times or to different mixes of policies (see IARC Handbook, 2008).  Theorized effects begin with the realities that the new standardized packs are less attractive than all or most existing packs and will all look similar, with only brand and variant names being available for differentiation.  This presentation spells out possible effects and how they might interact to affect smoking rates, and links them to the planned evaluations.

Bio: Ron Borland PhD is the Nigel Gray Distinguished Fellow in Cancer Prevention, at The Cancer Council Victoria, Australia where he has worked for over 25 years. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers, mostly related to aspects of tobacco control. He is one of the Principal Investigators of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project: an international collaboration currently active in over 20 countries. His work is designed to understand the impact on smokers of tobacco control policies, to help design better systems for regulating tobacco, and to research mass-disseminable strategies for helping smokers quit.

David Hammond
Associate Professor, University of Waterloo

Bio: David Hammond, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health & Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. His research seeks to evaluate and inform interventions and policies related to health behavior. His focus is on programs and policies that reach large segments of the population and that target primary determinants of health, including tobacco use, diet, and illicit drug use. Much of his work also has an international focus, including in studies in high, middle and low income countries. Dr. Hammond works closely with decision makers. He has served as an Advisor to the World Health Organization and has consulted with governments throughout the world on tobacco packaging and labeling policies.

Kylie Lindorff
Master of Public Health
Post Graduate Diploma (Health Promotion)
Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Education)

Additional Resources

Presentation Background: This presentation will provide a brief history of the development of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act (2011) and the Tobacco Plain Packaging Regulations (2011).  The presentation will then describe and provide examples of what tobacco packaging and tobacco products must look like in order to comply with these laws, including the research undertaken by the Department on Health and Ageing underpinning these design specifications.  Lastly an update on the various tobacco industry legal challenges to plain packaging being brought under Australian and international law will be provided.

Bio: Kylie Lindorff has been working in tobacco control since 1998, some 14 years, holding various positions within both government and non-government organizations.  Kylie has recently returned to her position as Policy Manager of the Tobacco Control Unit within the Cancer Council Victoria, after being on secondment to the Australian Government for 15 months to lead the team tasked with developing Australia’s world first tobacco plain packaging legislation.  Kylie is a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Plain Packaging which provides advice to the government on development and implementation of the plain packaging legislation.  Kylie also Chairs the Cancer Council Australia’s National Tobacco Issues Committee and is closely involved in FCTC work, including being appointed as one of 3 NGO experts to act as observers on the development of Guidelines for Article 11 (Packaging and Labeling). Her particular areas of tobacco control expertise are in policy, advocacy and legislative development.

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