Some Comments on the ‘Plain Packaging’ “Science”

A short post tonight – I have been spending time ‘being creative’ with the curing box and baccy-plant leaves today.

Dick Puddlecote has pointed to the ‘science for sale’ aspect of the Tobacco Control Industry. I urge readers to read DP’s post:

DP points out that the ‘evidence’, which has been used by ASH ET AL to justify PP,  has been tailor-made, and the study which ASH claim to be ‘perfect evidence’ is simplistic junk. DP links to a ‘proper’ study of PP by a ‘proper’ mathematician and scientist. It is quite a lengthy read, but worthwhile if have time. But, very briefly, the ‘scientist’ is an expert in ‘visual tracking’ – you know – a person has a headset which ‘tracks’ his eye movements, and how long he focuses on specific areas of a picture. That sort of thing.

But he know what he is doing and realises and plans for a variety of confounders, such as fatigue (looking at pictures, one after another for some 20 minutes – a long time to just look at one pic after another). Also, he ensured that the ‘volunteers’ (paid £30 each for their trouble) did not know precisely what was expected of them. Thus, not only were they shown tobacco packets, but they were also shown ‘professionally produced plain packaged’ alcohol and food examples.

Here is a link to that ‘scientist’s’ blog in which lists the several posts that he made about his study. He freely admits that his study was funded by a tobacco company, and is at pains to report that the tobacco company agreed to pay in advance for the costs, and not to interfere in any way, nor to control the publication of the results.

He lists his posts about his procedures, so you can read as much or as little as you wish. But, if you wish to know ‘the truth’ you will read all of it.


Cutting a long story short, what the ‘eye movements’ seem to have indicated is that people, whether smokers or not, tend to look at the top left corner of any document/picture put before them. That is ‘learned’ behaviour, based upon the simple observations that we learn to read from the top down, and from the left to the right. If you think back, when you started to read this post, you will have started at the top left word. The idea is that, even when we look at pictures. we automatically start by looking at the top left spot. But not necessarily, especially if there is movement in the pic. Thus, watching TV, we immediately focus on moving parts. 

But that does not apply to fag packets. We automatically start to look at such things from the top left corner initially.

But we have to visualise what a person buying a packet of fags is interested in.

Suppose a person goes to a supermarket tobacco counter. The goods are hidden. He asks for a packet of ‘Benson and Hedges Gold’. The assistant opens a cupboard and takes out a packet and hands it to the customer.

What will the customer immediately focus upon? He will look for ‘THE BRAND NAME’, because he wants to be sure that he has been given what he has asked for. He will not even SEE the health messages, whether they be pictures or text. All he is interested in is whether or not he has been given the right brand. Thus, the less clear the brand is, the less a person notices the messages. In fact, the author suggests that a logo and/or recognisable text should be permitted.


Right…. But the real problem is that the Zealots should not be involved at all. They are parasites. Why should Arnott and Duggan decide the size, shape, colour, text, pics, on tobacco products? The answer is that the don’t – they are just the propagandists. They know nothing about the statistics or the ‘science’.  Their job is just to spin the lies.


Why is it that my short posts always turn out to be quite long? It must be the effects of constant exposure to the Tobacco Control Industry propaganda…..

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