hind retail counters—have been shown to be an effective form of marketing, particularly among youth and young adults (Wakefield et al. 2002a). Moreover, marketing value of the cigarette package increases as other forms of marketing are restricted (Celebucki and Diskin 2002; Wakefield et al. 2002b). The following quote from a Phillip Morris executive highlights the importance of the package under increasingly restrictive advertising environments: “Our final communication vehicle with our smoker is the pack itself. In the absence of any other marketing messages, our packaging … is the sole communicator of our brand essence. Put another way—when you don’t have anything else—our packaging is our marketing” (Hulit 1994).1 Internal documents from British American Tobacco also indicate that packages have been designed to compensate for restricted forms of advertising: “Given the consequences of a total ban on advertising, a pack should be designed to give the product visual impact as well as brand imagery … the pack itself can be designed so that it achieves more visual impact in the point of sale environment than its competitors” (Miller 1986).
Beyond the retail environment, packages also help to increase the reach of “below-the-line” marketing activities (Carter 2003). For example, cigarette packages in Malaysia contain specific references to the sponsorship of Formula 1 racing series, while packs in other countries carry images and information for concert and nightclub promotions. As Pollay (2001) noted, “The package is the last and most critical link in an integrated chain of promotional communications” (Pollay 2001). Overall, the cigarette package is the cornerstone of tobacco marketing strategy and an effective means of targeting key subgroups of smokers, including young adults and women (Carpenter et al. 2005; Chapman and Carter 2003; Chapman and Carter 2003; Cummings et al. 2002; Pollay 2001).
In addition to serving as a marketing vehicle for the tobacco industry, cigarette packages also provide governments with a direct means of communicating with smokers. Warning labels are primarily intended to communicate the health risks of smoking and to fulfill the government’s responsibility as regulators to warn consumers about these hazardous products. To date, warnings labels have been introduced on cigarette packages in virtually every jurisdiction; the size and general strength of these warnings, however, vary considerably (Aftab et al. 1999). In most countries, the first warnings to appear on packages were introduced by tobacco manufacturers in response to growing pressure from health authorities and in an attempt to avoid liability for their products (Chapman and Carter 2003). By 1974, government-mandated warnings were required on packages in several countries, including Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Panama, Peru, the United Kingdom, the United States, and some areas of Australia. In the United States, health warnings were first included on cigarette packages in 1966 and in advertisements in 1972. Since 1984, U.S. cigarette packages have carried one of four government-mandated text warnings on the side panels of packages.
The United States is one of the few countries in the developed world that has not updated its warnings in the past 20 years. In contrast, most countries have increased the size, number, and general prominence of package warning labels. Most notably, several countries have introduced pictorial warnings labels. Canada was the first country to require pictorial warnings when they