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Review Article

Need for Tobacco Plain Packaging in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A groundbreaking Step for Smoking Control Measure

Najim Z. Alshahrani, Mazen Abdullah Alqahtani, Abdullah Ahmed Alqahtani, Hatim Abdullah Ayied, Abdulrahman Ali Alqahtani.

Cited by 3 Articles

Tobacco industry using its marketing strategy to influence smoking behavior among youth and packing is the primary factor that helped tobacco companies in their advertisement. Standardized “plain” cigarette packaging is advocated by Australia then by World health organization as a public health policy to reduce youth smoking initiation and promote smoking cessation to prevent and reduce morbidity and mortality caused by smoking. Plain packaging was in Australia’s market in December 2012, and several other countries are then implemented plain packaging after facing some legal resistance from opponents. On behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the minister of Health agreed upon the World Health Organization's initiative to adopt plain packaging as a tobacco control measure. In May 2019, plain packs were available in the Saudi market. Tobacco companies have challenged these public health policies. Additionally, consumers have made massive campaigns against new plain packs, claiming of taste change and quality alteration. The Decision-making of plain packaging is supported by quantitative and qualitative studies. Results are indicating that plain packaging can decrease positive perceptions of smoking and encourage to quit smoking Ministry of health, Saudi Food and Drug Agency and ministry of commerce coordinate work is essential in maintaining the policy and responding to any consumers' concerns. This can be implemented by evolving social media and web-services to raise smoker’s awareness and perception toward their tobacco use. Ensure that tobacco companies comply with international tobacco manufacturing standards. In this review report, I would like to show some evidence that supports and encourage continuing plain packaging and to recommend some solutions for consumer’s anger and claims against these new packs.

Key words: Tobacco Plain Packaging, Smoking, Tobacco control, Plain packaging, Cigarettes

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