When an ad for Nicorettes says "150% more likely to quit" it sounds like the product has a very high success rate. But what it doesn't say is that the 150% is in comparison to a success rate of just 7% being the percentage of people who stop smoking using just willpower.
So what success rate do Nicorettes have? Presumably about 10%, which isn't very high is it?
According to research done in the USA varenicline (trading under the name Champix in the UK and Chantix in the USA) appears to have had no significant impact on the rates of smoking in the USA, and the effectiveness of this drug is short-lived compared to other cessation aides. Findings from this research have been published in the journal Tobacco Control.
More details at http://www.empr.com/news/varenicline-not-improving-quit-rates-smoking/article/433144/
New anti-smoking advert uses rotting flesh to show the dangers of smoking roll-ups
The graphic new new anti-smoking advertising campaign, online and on print billboard adverts, feature a roll-up cigarette full of decaying tissue.
Cigarettes can damage the bones, muscles, brain, teeth and eyes.
Current smokers are at double the risk of Alzheimer's disease, for example.
Research by public health officials found that male smokers using hand-rolled cigarettes had more than doubled from 18% in 1990 to 40% in 2013. While women smoking roll-ups went from just 2% to 23% in the same period.
Well it seems that MPs are going to be voting on the introduction of plain cigarette packaging and the law could be introduced next year.
But why do they need plain packaging when there are already health warning messages and pictures on each packet of cigarettes and tobacco? The answer is that most smokers have a "negative hallucination" when ii comes to those messages and it's as if the messages aren't there. The anti smoking lobby argue that the branding and nice packaging distract the smoker from the health warnings.
It will be interesting to see what impact the new measures will have. Some claim there will be a resurgence of cigarette boxes or containers, so smokers will transfer their cigarettes from a shabby packet to a nice box. Personally I don't think it will have much impact on the regular smoker. Those who say they enjoy smoking will still smoke. However it may have an impact on teenagers and perhaps stop youngsters from taking up smoking - let us hope so.
Update 17th February 2015:
The British Psychological Society has today written http://www.bps.org.uk/news/new-evidence-plain-packaging-reduces-harm-smoking that there is new evidence that plain packaging reduces the harm from smoking, based on studies carried out in Australia.