Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Impact of plain packaging in Australia: Lessons for India (#351)

Nathan Grills 1 , Radhika Shrivastav 2 , Deeva Singh 3 , Monika Arora 3
  1. Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne
  2. HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth), New Delhi
  3. Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi, DELHI, India

Background/context: Successful introduction of plain packaging in Australia, inspired the researchers, advocates, policy specialists and lawyers from India and Australia to form an Australia-India Taskforce on Tobacco Control. The Taskforce aims to translate research and policy advocacy strategies from Australia to strengthen tobacco control in India. The task force has earlier produced a policy document and also advocated for a Private Members Bill on Plain packaging in the Indian Parliament. Drawing lessons from current research on impact of plain packaging in Australia and contextualizing it to Indian context, would provide important evidence for India to strengthen effectiveness of its health warnings through implementing plain packaging.

Objectives: a) To review research evidence on impact of plain packaging in Australia, and b) to examine how these findings apply to any implementation of similar legislation in the Indian context

Methodology: Searches for available published and unpublished evidence on impact of plain packaging on adult smokers, adolescents’ perceptions, quit rate will be conducted through Pubmed, Embase and Scopus databases. Grey literature and government documents, research reports and non-governmental organization papers will be identified through Australia India Taskforce. This research evidence will be synthesized and a contextual analysis will be undertaken to understand feasibility of translating this evidence into Indian context.

Outcomes: Our research on exploring perceptions of Indians about plain packaging of tobacco products revealed that 53% participants reported noticing branding, while 28% reported noticing pictorial warnings. Evaluation of health warnings in India has been shown to be weak. This literature review and contextual analysis will be presented as White Paper to different Ministries in India at the central level, to advocate for Indian government to consider plain packaging of tobacco products.

Discussion: This translational research will ensure introduction of stricter tobacco control measures in India that will lower the cancer burden in the country.