Scary Labels Won’t Snuff Out Cigarette Sales – Report


US cigarette manufacturers haven’t had to start selling the nine new pack designs that include nasty warning labels with images of rotting teeth, corpses, diseased lungs, and other such things on them but a new report will give them some hope.

The FDA requires that the new pack designs be sold starting in the fall of 2012, but a new report predicts that there won’t be an immediate impact for Big Tobacco.[more]

A new report from research firm IBISWorld predicts that the graphic packaging “will cause a decline of less than one percent in overall U.S. tobacco revenues in 2013,” ABC News reports.

IBISWorld projects that manufacturers will only lose about $300 million in sales annually, which is a minuscule portion of the estimated $43.8 billion the cigarette business brings in each year.

ABC points out, though, that the new packaging may curtail future revenue since it may help keep some from starting to smoke. “Gradually, the warnings could impact the smoking population,” said IBISWorld cigarette and tobacco industry analyst Mary Gotaas, according to ABC. “But in the near term, it won’t have much of an impact.”

The site reports that the FDA is figuring the new packs will cause 213,000 people to stop smoking in 2013.

Deborah Mitchell, executive director of the Center for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin, also tells ABC that the size of the images will cause the brand names of cigarettes to be less pronounced and, in time, of less importance.

“A great brand like Marlboro, it’s like they cast this spell,” Mitchell said. “If the spell is broken, for example, with this really negative packaging … all at once, Marlboro is just another brand of tobacco.”